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The News in Brief

Monday, October 27
Georgian President Meets Japanese PM in Tokyo

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe told Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili at a meeting in Tokyo on October 24 that the two countries are “friends, which share fundamental values.”

“Furthermore the both countries are making tremendous efforts for peace and stability,” PM Abe said and praised Georgia’s “contribution to the international peace.”

The Japanese PM also said that the two countries should “play together even more pro-active role for the international peace and stability.”

After the meeting the Japanese PM and the Georgian President signed a “joint statement on solidarity for peace and democracy.”

PM Abe reiterated Japan’s support towards Georgian territorial integrity and also said that Georgia’s “dialogue with Russia is highly appreciated.”

“We appreciate favorable business environment of Georgia, which is advancing on the path of integration of its market with Europe,” the Japanese PM said.

President Margvelashvili said that Georgia “applauds and supports” Japan’s efforts to increase its role on the international stage, because “Japan is one of the strongest democracies in the world and democracies should speak out more strongly on the international stage.”

President Margvelashvili asked Japan to refer to his country in Japanese as “Georgia” instead of Russian pronunciation “Gruzya” – an issue, which Georgia has raised years ago.

“During the talks I received the President’s request for change of the name of his country in Japanese. Our government decided to study this along the direction of changing from Gruzya to Georgia,” PM Abe said after the meeting.

Also on October 24 President Margvelashvili and first lady Maka Chichua were received by Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

During his official visit to Japan President Margvelashvili also met Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida; Agriculture Minister Koya Nishikawa; speaker of Japan’s lower house of parliament Bunmei Ibuki.

President Margvelashvili, accompanied by a group of lawmakers from ruling GD coalition, also met representatives of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

According to the Georgian President’s office, Russia’s “unconstructive” policy and continuing “occupation” of Georgia’s territories by Russia, as well as Moscow’s recent attempts to “annex” Abkhazia through its proposed new treaty with the breakaway region were high on agenda of President Margvelashvili’s discussions with the Japanese officials.

The Georgian President also held meeting with president of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and representatives of the Japan Association for Trade with Russia and Newly Independent States (ROTOBO) and Japan Association of Corporate Executives.

Georgia’s president meets emperor of Japan

Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili is on an official visit to Japan and continuing meeting high Japanese officials.

Today, the President Margvelashvili and the first lady visited Japanese Emperor Akihito.

Emperor Akihito, 81, is the 125th Emperor of his line, according to Japan’s traditional order of succession. He is the only remaining monarch in the world who reigned under the title of ‘Emperor’.

Today’s official meeting between Margvelashvili and Emperor Akihito was held behind closed doors.

Meanwhile yesterday, Margvelashvili delivered a speech at the Sasakava Peace Foundation. In his speech the President highlighted that Georgia would resolve its territorial integrity problems through peaceful means.

"We will not resolve these problems by military means but by the involvement of the population living in the breakaway areas in the positive processes of Georgia," President Margvelashvili said.

He spoke about Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic future and emphasized that there were examples when countries with territorial problems became NATO members.

You can take a look at the history of NATO and you will find that there is no requirement that countries must have resolved their territorial problems. For example, look at Germany. It was considered as a single nation but there were two states, one of which was a NATO member. I’ve seen in the past 25 years that Europe is expanding, NATO is increasing, the European Union and NATO borders are coming closer to Russia and Russia has the most peaceful borders with the EU and NATO, he said.

In his speech Margvelashvili also spoke about the August 2008 Russia-Georgia war.

When asked by a Japanese journalist whether he thought Georgia’s ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili was guilty in connection to the war, Margvelashvili responded: "Georgia cannot declare war against Russia on its own territory. As you know these areas are the territories of Georgia.”

Maybe some mistakes were made but the occupation of my country should not be legalized. The agreement was signed between Sarkozy and Medvedev after August 2008, providing the regulation of the issue and not the topic related to the recognition of independence of these territories, Margvelashvili said.

More support for Tbilisi’s most vulnerable this winter

The Georgian Government is teaming-up with the capital city’s leading gas provider to make the cold winter months easier for thousands of the city’s most vulnerable families.

Georgia’s Ministry of Energy and KazTransGas-Tbilisi announced several projects were in the pipeline, with the help of Tbilisi City Hall, for this winter to specifically help thousands of socially vulnerable families.

From today, socially vulnerable families in Tbilisi, who are customers of KazTransGas-Tbilisi, will be able to get free regulation of their natural gas billing system.

This means that if they believed their natural gas meter was not working properly, they could contact the company and a representative would visit the family, inspect the problem and manage repairs free of charge.

Recent information of the Health Ministry stated there were currently 25,911 families considered as socially vulnerable in Tbilisi.

Another initiative of KazTransGas-Tbilisi and the Ministry of Energy was the renewal of the ‘Safe Winter’ program, which involved free inspection of gas equipment for all families in Tbilisi.

In this initiative, customers who believed their gas equipment was not working property are able to call the company’s business centre and a qualified specialist will visit their home and inspect the problem.

In addition, KazTransGas-Tbilisi and Tbilisi City Hall announced they would carry out a project to connect socially vulnerable families and internally displaced persons with a gas supply at no cost.

Under the project more than 3,500 families have been connected with a gas supply and 200 families were currently being fitted to the gas network. Moreover, 1,500 families will also be connected to the gas supply in the future.

15-year-old teenager tries to commit suicide

15-year-old teenager of a children's care home in Tbilisi has tried to commit suicide.

The teenager was hospitalized immediately. According to reports, the teenager’s condition is satisfactory

An investigation is underway.