• Kyodo News


Japanese and U.S. envoys for Afghan policy will meet in Washington on Monday for the first full-scale bilateral talks on ways to assist Afghanistan and Pakistan, Foreign Ministry officials said Friday.

Japan International Cooperation Agency President Sadako Ogata, who was recently appointed as Prime Minister Taro Aso’s special envoy, and Motohide Yoshikawa, the Japanese ambassador to Spain and the new special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, will meet U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke on Monday and World Bank President Robert Zoellick the next day.

Aso conveyed to U.S. President Barack Obama in their first meeting in Washington last week that Tokyo will send Ogata and Yoshikawa to the U.S. for talks with Holbrooke to show Japan’s eagerness to support the new U.S. administration’s shift of emphasis from Iraq to Afghanistan.

The decision came after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton requested Japan’s participation in the U.S. review of its Afghan policy during her visit to Japan last month.

Clinton said Washington wants “to have the benefit of the experience of the Japanese involvement as we go forward to determine the approach that we will be taking.”

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