Japan-Georgia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
February 16, 2018
On February 16, for approximately 30 minutes, Mr. Taro Kono, who was visiting Munich to attend the Munich Security Conference, had a meeting with H.E. Mr. Mikheil Janelidze, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, which lasted for approximately 30 minutes from 3:08 p.m. local time (11:08 p.m., Japan time). The overview of the meeting is as follows.
- At the beginning, Minister Kono reiterated his congratulations on the victory of Tochinoshin, a Georgian-origin sumo wrestler, in a grand sumo tournament and introduced the wide press coverage of this news in Japan. Minister Kono stated that this development should not be a temporal phenomena but rather both countries should cooperate to make it an opportunity to further raise Georgia’s profile in Japan and lead to strengthening the economic relationship.
- In addition, Minister Kono expressed the view that Georgia’s stability is essential to the stability of the Caucasus region as a whole, and explained that Japan attaches importance to its relationship with Georgia, with which it shares fundamental values such as democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law.
- Furthermore, Minister Kono noted that rich discussions were held at the GUAM plus Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in New York in September last year, which Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Janelidze attended, and mentioned that a GUAM plus Japan workshop on the theme of promoting small- and medium-sized enterprises was held recently. Minister Kono expressed expectation that this framework will lead to bilateral cooperation and the development of a market economy in Georgia.
- In response, Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Janelidze stated that his visit to Japan in June last year was productive, and he highly appreciated the economic and social development aid that Japan extends to Georgia, along with expressing the view that he intends to further strengthen the cooperative relationship in a broad range of fields, including political and economic areas. Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Janelidze also expressed strong expectation that Japanese companies would set up businesses in Georgia, and in that context the two ministers shared the view that the investment agreement that is currently under negotiation should be concluded promptly.
- In addition, the two ministers exchanged views broadly on cooperation in the international arena, including the North Korea situation and the United Nations Security Council reform. Furthermore, Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Janelidze explained Georgia’s position with regard to the situations in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.