Third “Visegrad Group plus Japan” Summit Meeting
On Thursday, April 25, commencing at 10:35 a.m. (local time) for approximately 70 minutes, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during his visit to the Slovak Republic, attended the third Visegrad Group (V4) plus Japan Summit Meeting. The summary of the meeting is as follows (the V4 was represented by H.E. Mr. Peter Pellegrini, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic (the holder of the V4 Presidency), H.E. Mr. Andrej Babiš, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, H.E. Mr. Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, and H.E. Mr. Mihaly Varga, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Hungary.
1. Japan-EU relations and “V4+Japan” cooperation
(1) Prime Minister Abe and the leaders of the V4 countries welcomed the meeting following the previous one in October 2018. They reaffirmed that Japan and the V4 countries are partners that share fundamental values, and confirmed to cooperate on various challenges facing the international community.
(2) Prime Minister Abe and the leaders of the V4 countries also confirmed the outcomes of recent major “V4+Japan” cooperation, including a “V4+Japan” economic seminar, cooperation in the Western Balkans, and science and technology cooperation, affirming that such cooperation will be continued and further enhanced.
2. Challenges in international community
Prime Minister Abe and the leaders of the V4 countries discussed the issue of North Korea based on the recent situation, and agreed to continue to cooperate closely on this issue. In addition, Prime Minister Abe requested understanding and cooperation for the early resolution of the abductions issue, a top priority for the Abe administration, and received the support of the leaders of the V4 countries.
Furthermore, with regard to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU), Prime Minister Abe explained and shared Japan’s view that “no deal” exit should be avoided with the V4 leaders. Prime Minister Abe and the V4 leaders also exchanged views on the regional situations in East Asia and Europe as well as issues such as migration and climate change.
3. Rules-based free and open economic system
Prime Minister Abe and the leaders of the V4 countries confirmed the importance of promoting free trade including World Trade Organization (WTO) reform, economic growth, promoting quality infrastructure investment and data governance in order to maintain and strengthen the rules-based free and open economic system. Prime Minister Abe explained Japan’s initiatives as the holder of the G20 Presidency.
(Note) V4: A regional cooperation framework consisting of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. It was founded in Visegrad in Hungary in 1991. It holds dialogues at the leader, foreign minister, and senior working levels and promotes V4 plus Japan cooperation in a wide range of areas, such as science and technology, assistance to third countries, disaster risk reduction, and the environment.