At noon today at the Palacio San Martín, Foreign Minister Felipe Solá hosted his Japanese counterpart, Motegi Toshimitsu, for an extended working meeting that included the delegations of both countries, with a view to strengthening bilateral relations in all fields of the common agenda.
After meeting at the Argentine Government House with President Alberto Fernández, Motegi agreed with his Argentine counterpart on the need to foster mutual trade and investments, within the framework of the strategic relationship between the two countries. In this regard, Solá noted that Japan is a very important country to Argentina, not only on a political level, but also as a trade partner.
The foreign minister highlighted that Argentina and Japan share the same values, such as multilateralism, respect for democracy and the rule of law, promotion and defence of human rights, and the peaceful resolution of disputes between States.
They also valued the “Kaizen-Tango” project that seeks to improve the competitiveness of Argentine SMEs, and the “One Village, One Product” project which supports the development of local and regional economies. Both countries are currently engaged in their first collective project in Mozambique to improve production technologies.
The ministers recalled that the bilateral relationship is deep-rooted and dates back to the 19th century, as Japan was the first Asian country with which Argentina established diplomatic relations, and today the community of Japanese descendants in our country is one of the largest ones in Latin America.
Sola thanked his Japanese counterpart for the recent donations of medical equipment for various Argentine public hospitals in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, he noted Argentina’s appreciation of Japan’s bilateral technical cooperation, one of the most important ones received by the country, through the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), for over 40 years. In addition, both countries are working together on triangular cooperation projects in other countries, such as Mozambique.
In closing, with regard to Mercosur, where Argentina holds the presidency pro tempore this semester, the foreign minister noted that the regional bloc values the evolution of the dialogue process with Japan. Furthermore, the foreign ministers acknowledged the importance of enhancing the economic relationship between Japan and Mercosur, so they exchanged views on how to intensify trade relations.
The Argentine foreign minister was accompanied by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Pablo Tettamanti; the Chief of Staff to the Minister, Guillermo Justo Chaves; the Undersecretary for Multilateral and Bilateral Economic Negotiations, Carola Beatriz Ramón; the Director for Asia and Oceania, Eduardo Acevedo Díaz; and the Ambassador-Designate to Japan, Guillermo Hunt.
Foreign Minister Motegi arrived at the Palacio San Martín with the Ambassador of Japan to Argentina, Takahiro Nakamae; the Deputy Minister for Foreign Policy, Shigeo Yamada; the Assistant Minister for Latin American and Caribbean Affairs, Hayashi Teiji; and the Director for South America, Kondo Norifumi.
Motegi, who also took part this morning in the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the Monument to General San Martín at San Martín Square together with Tettamanti, is the first foreign minister to have made an official visit to Argentina since the pandemic began.