Neelie KROES
Vice-President of the European Commission

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Where East and West share common ground: I meet Minister Tatsuo Kawabata

Today I am very happy to report that despite the obvious geographical distance of some 10,000km, in terms of cooperation Japan and Europe are very close indeed. I had the great pleasure to hold a meeting with Minister Tatsuo Kawabata of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan, together with some of his colleagues, including Vice Minister Yamakawa. The Minister - responsible not only for ICT matters but also for Japanese home affairs - updated me on the progress in Japan since the terrible earthquake and tsunami of last year, and on the nuclear crisis and the effect this is having on Japan's energy situation.  I was struck yet again by the resilience and fortitude of the Japanese people: my thoughts are with those who have had to cope with such hardship.  And I realised that, although Japan and Europe are facing crises of different natures at the moment, we are nevertheless seeing so many of the same challenges.
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