Mr Jingyuan Xia, the IPPC Secretary, and Mr Craig Fedchock, the IPPC Adviser, visited the Japan Ministry for Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) as well as the Yokohama Plant Protection Station on 15 and 16 September 2016. During their visit, Mr Xia and Mr Fedchock had a meeting with Mr Takeharu Imashiro, the Director General for Food Safety and Consumer Affairs of MAFF, and a meeting with Mr. Hitoshi Ono, the Director General of the Yokohama Pant Protection Station, as well as additional meetings with MAFF Director of Plant Protection Mr Kazuhiko Shimada, MAFF Director of Plant Quarantine Ms Tomoko Nakayama, MAFF Deputy Director for Plant Quarantine Ms. Akiko Nagano, and Director of the Yokohama Plant Protection Station Research Division (the former IPPC Secretary) Mr Yukio Yokoi.
Mr Xia took the opportunity when talking to both Director General Imashiro and Director General Ono to express his thanks to the government of Japan for its generous support to the IPPC work program over many years. He noted the contributions included financial, in-kind support, hosting of meetings and technical contributions. Mr Xia briefed both DGs on the progress of the IPPC strategic plan towards 2020, and the results of the IPPC Secretariat Enhancement Evaluation. He noted the future core priorities of the IPPC include standards implementation, biosecurity, safe and efficient trade, emerging pests, and communication and partnership. Mr. Xia said the he hoped the cooperation of the IPPC with Japan would deepen and that Japan would continue to support to the IPPC’s work in particular that concerning emerging pests, ePhyto, IPPC Workshops on National Reporting Obligation (NRO), sea containers and commodity standards.
In response, both Director General Imashiro and Director General Ono expressed their deep appreciation for the IPPC prioritizing its work towards standards implementation, safe and efficient trade, and emerging pest issues. There was a great deal of interest in the ePhyto project and the MAFF officials indicated a great interest in providing resource support to the project on ePhyto, including human resource contribution and organization of the relevant high level symposium. They are also interested in supporting the IPPC Workshops on NRO for some FAO regions.
Mr Xia urged the MAFF officials to give strong consideration to providing financial support to the IPPC in the near future as the Secretariat struggles to maintain its ability to deliver on the heavy work program endorsed by CPM. Mr Xia noted that this will be a topic of discussion at the upcoming meeting of the IPPC Strategic Planning Group (SPG) in October. In response, the Japanese noted that they are working hard to ensure support for the IPPC in the coming years, in particular they expressed a strong interest in finding a way to provide in-kind support to the IPPC ePhyto project.
During the visit to MAFF headquarters, Mr Xia delivered a seminar on the Development and Perspective of the IPPC to a number of MAFF staff. There was a larger than expected number of participants in the seminar and a very good discussion took place on a number of issues of interest to the MAFF attendees. In Yokohama, the visiting IPPC officials had the opportunity to meet with some of the members of the Research Division staff for a discussion of IPPC related issues.
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