Ambassador Kirk today met with Japan's Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Hirotaka Akamatsu, during the Minister's visit to Washington, D.C. Ambassador Kirk congratulated Minister Akamatsu on his new position and expressed his strong desire to work together constructively.
Ambassador Kirk and Minister Akamatsu held a wide-ranging discussion. On multilateral issues, Ambassador Kirk emphasized the United States' resolve to achieve an ambitious and balanced conclusion to the WTO Doha Development Agenda. Ambassador Kirk also expressed his desire to work closely with Japan within the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum as Japan prepares to serve as APEC host in 2010 followed by the United States in 2011. On bilateral trade, Ambassador Kirk stressed the importance the Obama Administration attaches to securing greater access to Japan's beef market in a manner that is consistent with science and international standards.