Alternate Foreign Minister George Katrougalos and Japan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobuo Kishi expressed their joint desire to further cement Greek-Japanese relations during their meeting on Monday, with emphasis on economic affairs, culture and sport ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. During the meeting, Katrougalos also passed on an invitation from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to the Japanese prime minister to visit Greece.
“We had an opportunity to reaffirm the excellent level of our relations and to discuss ways to develop these further in all areas,” Katrougalos said after the meeting. He noted that a visit from the Japanese prime minister would be a new milestone in relations between the two countries “sealing the new momentum that we wish to give to them.”
Kishi also referred to the importance of relations between Greece and Japan and a desire to develop these further, especially in economic affairs.
Katrougalos noted the excellent prospects for closer cooperation in economic affairs and trade and said they discussed ways to promote bilateral trade and increase trade transactions. He also informed Kishi of the “significant investment and business opportunities presented by the recovering Greek economy” and the quality of services in tourism, which could make Greece a top destination for Japanese tourists.
They agreed on the signature of a memorandum for bilateral cooperation in sport and culture, ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and they also referred to maritime cooperation between Greece and Japan, with emphasis on the need to observe international law and establish the rule of law at sea.
Kishi also expressed Japan’s solidarity with Greece and Europe against the challenge posed by the refugee crisis and noted his visit to the Elaionas refugee centre in Athens on Sunday.
“My country has already given more than 1.65 billion dollars to assist refugees in Syria, Iraq and neighbouring countries in the region that are a source of refugees. We will continue to work for the solution of this problem,” he said. Kishi informed Katrougalos that Japan intends to open up an embassy in Nicosia in 2018.