Japan-Spain Summit Meeting (Overview)

September 1, 2010

(Photo)Japan-Spain Summit Meeting
(Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
(Photo)Japan-Spain Summit Meeting
(Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

Prime Minister of Japan Naoto Kan held a summit meeting at Prime Minister’s Office with President of the Government of Spain José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who is in Japan on the first official working visit since the establishment of the Kan administration, from 6:00 p.m. to 6:50 p.m. on September 1 (Wed). The summit meeting was followed by a signing ceremony and joint press announcement, as well as a dinner from 7:10 p.m. to 8:15p.m. The overview of the events is as follows.

  1. Summit Meeting

    (1) President Zapatero stated that the stability of the euro was important for the stability of the international economy, and that it was important for each country to cooperate within the G20 framework to tackle the economic and financial crisis. Prime Minister Kan responded that Japan had also played a role during the Greek economic crisis through the IMF, drawing on his experience as Minister of Finance.

    (2) Prime Minister Kan congratulated the Spanish team’s victory in the FIFA World Cup and stated that he would like to cooperate with Spain to secure Spain’s candidature for host country in 2018 and Japan’s candidature for host country in 2022.

    (3) Prime Minister Kan stated that the conclusion of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was an important agenda, and that he would like to have Spanish support reach agreement at the Japan-EU summit meeting to be held next year to start EPA negotiations. President Zapatero responded that he hoped for and supported the conclusion of the EPA.

    (4) Prime Minister Kan requested swift support for the re-appointment of Mr. Nobuo Tanaka as Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), to which President Zapatero expressed his clear support.

    (5) Prime Minister Kan stated that Japan is aiming to realize the United Nations Security Council reform. In response, President Zapatero stated that Spain’s position remains unchanged that Japan should take on an important role befitting its status as a major economic power.

    (6) Prime Minister Kan stated that two separate meetings were held the same day between Japanese Ministers and Spanish Ministers accompanying President Zapatero, and agreements such as the Agreement Cooperation in Science and Technology would be signed. He said he expected the relevant ministers on both sides to firmly follow up on these agreements. He also requested swifter procedures for work and residence permits, from the viewpoint of improving the business environment, which was also the desire of Japanese companies. President Zapatero stated that scientific innovation was the future for Spain and he had high expectations from the conclusion of the agreement with Japan, an advanced country in the field. President Zapatero said that he had taken note of the issue of work and residence permits and that he would work toward making procedures smoother in order to allow more Japanese companies to move and invest in Spain.

    (7) Regarding Afghanistan, Prime Minister Kan expressed words of condolences for the deaths of Spanish officials the previous week. He then mentioned the role Japan is playing in such areas as police and agriculture for the restoration of peace and the reconstruction of Afghanistan. President Zapatero stated that the situation surrounding Afghanistan was severe, but that he hoped to promote consideration by the foreign ministries of both countries on further bilateral cooperation in such areas as agriculture. Prime Minister Kan concurred with this.

    (8) President Zapatero stated that both Spain and Japan were major economic powers and at the same time, they were major cultural powers. He proposed to make the year 2012 “Spain Year in Japan” and Prime Minister Kan responded that he would make every possible effort to realize this initiative.

  2. Signing Ceremony and Joint Press Conference

    (1) Following the summit meeting, with both leaders in attendance, notes concerning the Japan-Spain Social Security Agreement were signed by Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Katsuya Okada and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain Miguel Ángel Moratinos Cuyaubé and the Japan-Spain Science and Technology Agreement were signed by Minister Okada and Minister of Science and Innovation of Spain Christina Garmendia.

    (2) Following the signing ceremony, the two leaders held a joint press announcement during which they introduced the details of the summit meeting.

  3. Dinner

    (1) During his toast, Prime Minister Kan said that he had gone to a nursery school for a year in Yamaguchi Prefecture which the missionary St. Francis Xavier had established.

    (2) Afterward, the two leaders freely discussed subjects of common interest to both countries and leaders such as the educational system, the trend of introspective youth, responses to issues of aging society such as retirement age, care, and pensions, and immigration issues.