On 21 December Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States released a joint statement calling on all involved to refrain from lethal activities during the whaling season in accordance with international rules. The countries also declare that they remain resolutely opposed to commercial whaling, including so-called scientific whaling. The countries will continue to strive for the conservation of whales worldwide and support the International Whaling Commission’s moratorium on commercial whaling.
Today, on 10 December, we celebrate Human Rights Day. Standing up for Human Rights, democracy and the rule of law is the silver thread that runs through EU external relations.
With Dutch funds and Japanese expertise works to preserve the tombstones of the old Dutch East-India Company cemetery in Nagasaki have recently started. Many stones are significantly affected by the ravages of time and some of them were in danger of becoming completely unreadable.
On Nov 28th, a so-called Cleveringa Lecture was held in Osaka on “Chemistry for Sustainable Energy”. Two professors, one from the Netherlands and one from Japan, gave lectures on the role chemistry can play for sustainable energy. The seminar was organized by Leiden University and the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Osaka.
Naaldwijk, a small municipality in the Westland Horticultural production area will soon profit from a unique energy supply system. A recently-built residential area will receive its heating from Prominent, a group of greenhouse growers. Greenhouses produce excess heat; 5 times more than actually needed to grow crops. A sophisticated heat exchange system does the trick.
For the fouth year in a row the International Agriculture and Horticultural Exhibition Agro-Innovation Japan was held in Tokyo International Exhibition Centre (Tokyo Big Sight) from 14 – 16 November 2012. This exhibition was formerly known as the International Horticulture Exhibition.
‘The International Criminal Court plays an essential role in preventing crimes, protecting people and bringing perpetrators to justice. It has achieved a great deal, but there is still much to do.’ Foreign minister Frans Timmermans delivered this message in the Knights’ Hall in The Hague at a ceremony to mark the ICC’s 10th anniversary, which was attended by Her Majesty the Queen and the President of Senegal.
On November 14 Ambassador Radinck J. van Vollenhoven presented his credentials to His Majesty the Emperor of Japan.
From Sunday 28 October to Friday 2 November 2012 a Japanese delegation of 55 people visited the Netherlands. The visit focused on cooperation in greenhouse horticulture between the Netherlands and Japan. The visit was a follow-up of a Dutch mission of horticultural experts who, in February this year, visited the area around Sendai that was devastated by the tsunami in March 2011.
The new Dutch government was today sworn in by Her Majesty the Queen. The members of the government responsible for foreign policy are Frans Timmermans (Minister of Foreign Affairs) and Lilianne Ploumen (Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation). Mr Timmermans, 51, was Minister for European Affairs from 2007 to 2010. Ms Ploumen, 50, worked for various development organisations before serving as chair of the PvdA (Labour Party).