Japan-Belgium Summit Meeting
On May 7, commencing at 4:15 p.m. for approximately 45 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister, held a meeting with H. E. Mr. Elio Di Rupo, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium, at the Egmont Palace. An overview of the meeting is as follows:
Prime Minister Di Rupo expressed his gratitude for Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Belgium. At the same time, he stated that Japan is an important partner for Belgium, as the year 2016 marks the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries; and trade and investment between Japan and Belgium is active. In response, Prime Minister Abe stated that he was very pleased to visit Brussels, “Capital of Europe”, at the end of his visit to Europe, and appreciated the hospitality by the Belgian side, as he had an audience with His Royal Highness King Philippe the previous day.
2. Bilateral Relations
Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan would like to contribute to the peace and stability of the regional/international community even further, from the standpoint of a “proactive contribution to peace.” Prime Minister Abe also stated that he would like to pursue a closer exchange of opinions in the field of security, particularly between the diplomatic authorities and defense authorities of the two countries. In response, Prime Minister Di Rupo welcomed Japan’s proactive contribution to peace and stability of the international community. At the same time, he stated that the “proactive contribution to peace” would open up more possibility of cooperation with the two countries, and that he would like to share the experience for peace and stability between them. He also welcomed an exchange of opinions between diplomatic authorities and defense authorities.
Prime Minister Di Rupo stated that many European head offices of Japanese enterprises are located in Brussels, and they contribute to job creation. Prime Minister Abe stated that many Japanese enterprises have established their office in Belgium as a business gateway to Europe. The two leaders shared their views on holding a seminar for promotion of trade and investment in Tokyo, for the purpose of further expanding trade and investment between Japan and Belgium to encourage the participation of many Japanese enterprises.
(3) Cultural/Human Exchange
Prime Minister Abe stated that the Government of Japan will hold anniversary events on the occasion of the 150th anniversary in 2016 of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Belgium, to enhance cultural exchange. In response, Prime Minister Di Rupo conveyed his approval, and at the same time stated that he would like to enhance exchange of science and technology as well. Prime Minister Di Rupo added that he would like to introduce working holidays at an early date to provide the youth with opportunities to learn the culture and languages of each country.
3. Regional Situation
The two leaders exchanged opinions concerning the situation in East Asia and Ukraine.