MP, Member of Mongolia-Japan Parliament Ts.Sedvanchig was interviewed regarding the issues of Tavantolgoi investment agreement.
Q: You are the Member of the Mongolia-Japan Parliament. It is believed that the Japanese Ambassador to Mongolia sent letter to the Mongolian side regarding their interest in Tavantolgoi. Could you explain more about their request?
Ts.Sedvanchig: Irregular meeting of the Parliament was held before the end of the Spring Session of the SGK and discussed about the investment agreement of Tavantolgoi. The results were officially out to the public. The provided information said that China, America and Mongolian and Russian consortium won the tender bid. From this information, it looked like South Korea and Japan were excluded.
Some MPs were also questioning the government officials regarding those two countries because Mongolia asked for greater cooperation in mining from Japan when President Ts.Elbegdorj paid official visit to Japan. Most people believed that South Korea and Japan had joint consortium with Russia but South Korea and Japan denied any connection. The letter was received after Naadam and it is mainly about Japan’s participation in the deposit and they want more effort to be put in towards helping Japanese private enterprises.
Q: What else did it say in the letter because this kind of letter was received by the government before?
Ts.Sedvanchig: Both Japan and Mongolia states that our relationship reached its peak. We named Japan as our 3rd neighbor country and our largest donator. Mining agreements were reached in Japan when President Ts.Elbegdorj visited Japan and both sides agreed that it is beneficial to cooperate in the mining sector. What the letter also said is that they don’t understand why Japan is excluded from the tender bid after reaching all these agreements and most importantly the process was very unclear.
Q: So does it mean that Mongolia already promised Japan to part of Tavantolgoi?
Ts.Sedvanchig: Mongolia has been inviting Japan for this epic project. Japanese experts visited Mongolia few times before for meetings and discussions. Mongolia invited Japan to take part in the tender bid because Japanese participation, technology and large market are important. First thing the government should do is to make everything clear and give official explanation to both South Korea and Japan. The Japanese side also expressed that they are unhappy with the decision of the government because it is almost as if the action is different from the words. Agreements were made during the President’s visit and our strategic partnership with Japan has reached its peak as the both sides have described.
Ts.Sedvanchig: I don’t think that will happen. If Japan does not participate, I don’t think they will cut donations or look back at the relationship of the two countries. They are of course democratic and have reached its peak as a developed country. They respect other country’s democracy also so in my opinion they will not respond in that matter.