Hon. Massimo D'Alema, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic, Pays Courtesy Call on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

February 5, 2007

For about 30 minutes from 6:00 p.m. on 31 January (Wed), Prime Minister Shinzo Abe received a courtesy call from Hon. Massimo D'Alema, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic. The gist of their meeting is as follows:

  1. Mr. Abe said, "I welcome your visit to Japan and hope that this visit will be significant in building further closer cooperative relations." Mr. D'Alema said, "The Government of Italy places importance on its relations with Japan and will further strengthen them." Mr. Abe also said, "Japan intends to support a free and prosperous world in concert with like-minded countries." The two leaders agreed that they would cooperate in tackling global issues as partners who share basic values.
  2. Mr. Abe said, "I welcome the enthusiastic initiatives taken by the Government of Italy such as "PRIMAVERA ITALIANA 2007," which will start from March across Japan, including the exhibition of Da Vinci's famous painting "The Annunciation," which has never been displayed outside Italy. In response, Mr. D'Alema stated, "Through various events during "PRIMAVERA ITALIANA 2007," I hope that wide-ranging bilateral relations will be further promoted."
  3. The two leaders also exchanged views on international issues including the situation in North Korea and the United Nations. On North Korea, Mr. Abe stated, "It is important for North Korea to take concrete actions for renouncing nuclear development, and Japan intends to strengthen its ties with Italy, who chairs the Sanction Committee on North Korea." Mr. D'Alema responded saying, "Italy highly values Japan's efforts for denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. Italy is convinced that the international community should take a concerted and resolute stance for solving the North Korean issues." Regarding the United Nations, the two leaders agreed that it is necessary for both Japan and Italy to reform the U.N. in order to make it more efficient in light of its important role.

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