Japan-Czech Republic Relations
Meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Andrej Babis of the Czech Republic
On October 24, commencing at 4:35 p.m. for approximately 15 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a Summit Meeting with H.E. Mr. Andrej Babis, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, who is visiting Japan. The overview of the meeting is as follows. The meeting was also attended by Mr. NISHIMURA Akihiro, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mr. HASEGAWA Eiichi, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister and Cabinet Public Relations Secretary, Mr. HAYASHI Hajime, Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary and others from the Japanese side, and by H.E. Mr. Martin Tomco, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to Japan, Mrs. Barbora Loudova, Head of the Protocol Department and Foreign Relations of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic, and others from the Czech Republic side.
1. Opening remarks
Prime Minister Abe welcomed Prime Minister Babis to Japan, stating, “I welcome your first visit to Japan. I am pleased we can meet again after our previous meeting in Slovakia this April.” In response, Prime Minister Babis stated that it is a great honor to be able to participate to the Ceremony of Enthronement and expressed gratitude for the invitation to attend a series of events including the Banquet last night.
2. Bilateral relations
Prime Minister Abe expressed his appreciation for the messages of sympathy to those affected by Typhoon Hagibis. Prime Minister Abe stated, “I appreciate that we were able to confirm our commitment to strengthen bilateral relations in April besides “Visegrad Group plus Japan” Summit Meeting,” adding that, “Japan looks forward to deepening our cooperation toward next year’s 100th anniversary of Japan-Czech Republic exchanges.” The two leaders shared the view that they will increase bilateral exchanges in the lead-up to the100th anniversary. In this context, Prime Minister Babis invited Prime Minister Abe to the Czech Republic during the next year, and he stated that since the Czech Republic is the Chair country for the Visegrad Group till next year, we can pursue to hold the “V4 + Japan” Summit Meeting.
(2) Economic relations
Prime Minister Abe stated, “We have maintained favorable economic relations; I expect to expand our business relations and ask for your cooperation in further improving the investment climate,” and obtained the understanding of Prime Minister Babis. Prime Minister Babis stated, “Czech Republic has a tradition as an industrial country since the Czechoslovak era, and the economic condition is stable. The Czech Republic has low tax burden and government debt, and is a promising country in Europe. Though many Japanese countries have already advanced to the Czech Republic and the economic relations between Japan and the Czech Republic are very good, I would like to further deepen the economic relations in the digital and IT fields as well. "
3. “V4+Japan” cooperation
Prime Minister Abe stated, “I look forward to the Czech leadership as the holder of V4 presidency.” The two leaders discussed and shared the view to work together toward future “V4+Japan” cooperation.
4. International situation
Regarding the situation in Europe, Prime Minister Babis said, “There are many issues in Europe, such as Brexit, but under the new EU structure, the Czech Republic hopes to cooperate with Japan while playing a role as a major EU country.” Prime Minister Abe asked for Prime Minister Babis’s understanding and support toward the early resolution of the abductions issue.