Japan-Spain Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Dinner

February 13, 2013

Japan-Spain Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Dinner(photo-1)
Japan-Spain Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Dinner(photo-2)
Japan-Spain Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Dinner(photo-3)

On February 13, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:20 p.m., Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, hosted a Foreign Ministers’ meeting, joint press conference, and dinner with Dr. José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, who is on a visit to Japan as a guest of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The overview of exchanges at the meeting and dinner are as follows.

Following the end of the meeting, the two ministers released a joint communiqué.

  1. Opening

    (1) Minister Kishida pointed out that there were “three firsts” accompanying Minister García-Margallo’s visit to Japan, being that he was Minister Kishida’s first guest, it was the first time to directly meet with a European foreign minister following the terrorism incident affecting Japanese citizens in Algeria, and it was the first visit of an official from Spain during the year when the 400th Anniversary of Japan–Spain Relation will began. He also stated that he wanted to cooperate with Spain to advance policy coordination and information exchange for responses to international issues. Furthermore, concerning the nuclear test by North Korea on February 12, Minister Kishida said that he wanted to continue further collaboration with such countries, as Spain, one of which would be firm steps by the United Nations Security Council.

    (2) In response, Minister García-Margallo said that it was an honor to be Minister Kishida’s first guest, and expressed the desire to greatly strengthen relations with Japan. In addition, he said that he shared the position of Japan on the issues of North Korea, and stated that he wanted to offer his profound condolences for the loss of Japanese citizens during the terrorism incident in Algeria.
  2. Security Cooperation

    (1) Minister Kishida introduced the “three main pillars” announced in January following the terrorism incident in Algeria (a. Strengthen Measures Against International Terrorism; b. Support for the stabilization of Sahel, North Africa, and Middle East Regions; and c. promotion of Dialogue and Exchange with Islamic and Arabic countries.). He also stated that he wanted to advance exchanges of information and opinions with Spain toward stabilizing the situation in Mali. Minister Kishida said that he wanted to designate relevant personnel to strengthen information exchange in unstable countries and regions about the safety of both countries’ people and companies through the respective diplomatic missions abroad.

    (2) In response, Minister García-Margallo explained the strategic interests of Spain in these regions and said that he agreed with the strengthening of information/opinion exchanges on international situations.

    (3) Furthermore, the two ministers shared the view that they expressed expectations that the Defense Ministries of the two countries explore ways to promote concrete cooperation.
  3. Japan and Spain, sharing values and inspiring each other
    Minister Kishida commented that Japan and Spain were friends that mutually respected each other’s history and culture and shared values. He noted that the Crown Princess of Japan and His Royal Highness the Prince of Asturias of Spain would assume the roles of Honorary Presidents for the 400th anniversary of Japan–Spain Relation and that this was a major encouragement to the people of both countries. He gained the agreement of Minister García-Margallo on the following four points.

    1. Commencement of consultations for introducing of a bilateral Working Holiday Programme
    2. Cooperation toward the realization of the recommendations from the 15th Japan-Spain Symposium.
    3. Promotion of political agreement and Economic Partnership Agreement(EPA) between Japan and the European Union (EU).
    4. Endeavor for the realization of a Japan-Spain summit meeting at the earliest time possible.
  4. Economic, and Science and Technology Cooperation
    Minister Kishida noted that Spain was a world leader in renewable energy and said that he had expectations for the further development of cooperation between the two countries’ corporations. He also said that he wanted to further strengthen science and technology cooperation, and gained the agreement of Minister García-Margallo on the following three points.

    1. That they would acceleration of work toward the signing of the Japan-Spain Agreement Regarding Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters.
    2. Early meeting of the second Joint Committee under the Japan-Spain Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement..
    3. Support for the activities of the Japan-Spain Joint Economic Committee to be resumed in June.
  5. Regional situations
    In addition, the two ministers had an exchange of opinions on East Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.
    • (* The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original in Japanese.)

Get Acrobat Reader (Open a New Window)