Countries & Regions

March 7, 2014
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

On 6 p.m. on March 7, Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a meeting followed by dinner with H.E. Mr. Thoomas Hendrik Ilves, President of the Republic of Estonia, who made a working visit to Japan upon invitation by the Japanese Government. An outline of the events is as follows:

1. Opening Remarks

(1) Prime Minister Abe welcomed the visit by President Ilves and appreciated Estonia's achievement of democracy and conversion to a market economy, accession to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and introduction of the euro, all in some 20 years since independence. Prime Minister Abe mentioned Japan is looking forward to working with Estonia, which has taken advanced initiatives in information technology and cybersecurity.

(2) In response, President Ilves replied he was glad to be in Japan, a country he had long hoped to visit. Expressing gratitude for Japan's tireless support of Estonia over the years, President Ilves stated that through the visit, he feels that bilateral relations have recently strengthened rapidly.

2. Security and Regional Situation

(1) Prime Minister Abe expressed his view that Japan and Estonia share strategic interests and explained his government's policy of ‘’proactive contribution to peace” based on the principle of international cooperation. President Ilves expressed his understanding of and support for Japan's policy of proactive contribution to peace.

(2) Prime Minister Abe stated changing the status quo in Ukraine by force cannot be accepted and expressed his hope for an early normalization of the situation. He told Japan intends to provide 100,000 euro for a mission organized by Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to promote dialogue and transparency aimed at alleviating tensions. In response, President Ilves expressed his concern over the situation in Ukraine and stressed the need for an early withdrawal of Russian troops and restitution in integrum. He also spoke highly of Japan's willingness to provide support.

(3) The two leaders exchanged views on the diversification of energy supplies in the Baltic region through nuclear power plant construction project in Lithuania and on regional situations in East Asia and elsewhere.

3. Cybersecurity

(1) Prime Minister Abe said threats in cyberspace are matters of security and Japan and Estonia need to make a coordinated response. He also said Japan will formally launch consultations with Estonia on cyber issues and explore cooperation through NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence (NATO CCDCOE) based in Estonia.

(2) In response, President Ilves concurred with the remarks of Prime Minister Abe, including the launch of bilateral consultations on cyberspace issues. He also stated that cyber security is a threat that the international community faces, transcending geographic notions, and Estonia hopes for Japan’s cooperation at NATO CCDCOE.

4. Cooperation in International Arena

(1) The two leaders shared the view facilitate cooperation for reform of the United Nations Security Council and shared the recognition that Japan and the European Union need to bring economic partnership agreement (EPA) negotiations to the earliest possible conclusion.

(2) The two leaders also shared the view that their countries will deepen discussions at the top leaders' level in order to work jointly on building peace, enhancing women's enrollment and issues the Arctic, using the framework of cooperation with the NB8 (Nordic-Baltic 8), for which Estonia is currently the coordinating country.

5. The dinner after the meeting was joined by individuals with links to Estonia, including Estonian-born former sumo wrestler Mr. Kaido Hoovelson (former Ozeki Baruto). In a friendly atmosphere, the dinner guests discussed the e-government initiative and the popularity of electric vehicles in Estonia, as well as cultural exchanges through sports.

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