Japan-Spain Summit Meeting
October 16, 2018
On October 16, commencing at 7:10 p.m. local time(October 17 at 2:10 a.m. Japan Time) for approximately 70 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit meeting with H.E. Mr. Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, President of the Government of Spain, during his visit to Spain. The overview of the meeting is as follows. On the occasion of this summit meeting, the two leaders issued a Joint Statement (PDF), elevating the relations between Japan and Spain to a “Strategic Partnership,” and confirmed that they would further promote strategic cooperation in a wide range of fields. Following the summit meeting, the two leaders signed on a new convention that fully amends the existing Tax Convention between the two countries as well as an exchange of notes on amending the annex to the Air Services Agreement. After that, a dinner hosted by President Sánchez and his wife took place.
1. Opening remarks
President Sánchez expressed his pleasure to welcome Prime Minister of Japan, a friend of Spain, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, and stated that he would like to strengthen the cooperative relations between Japan and Spain, as well as to deepen the relations between Japan and the European Union (EU).
Prime Minister Abe stated that he was pleased to visit Madrid on the memorable occasion of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Spain, and also stated that the two countries are important partners sharing fundamental values, such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. He also stated that Spain played a pivotal role in the EU. The two leaders confirmed that they would make efforts to further strengthen the historical relations between the two countries.
2. Bilateral relations
(1) Prime Minister Abe stated that the relations between the two countries have been steadily strengthened since the Partnership for Peace, Growth and Innovation was launched in 2013. Furthermore, he welcomed that various commemorative events have been held in both Japan and Spain, leading to the strengthening of the bilateral relations in this year and expressed expectation of further progress in people-to-people exchanges as a result of the working holiday program started in June.
(2) President Sánchez expressed his view that trade and tourists between the two countries were increasing, which demonstrated Spain’s interest in Japanese society and other aspects of Japan, and he stated that he would like to promote free trade through the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
(3) Given the rapid development of the relations between the two countries over the past five years, the two leaders elevated the relationship between Japan and Spain to a “Strategic Partnership,” and shared the view that they would enhance the bilateral relations in the future.
3. Japan-EU relations
(1) The two leaders welcomed the signing of the Japan-EU EPA and the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) in July and shared the view that they would continue to cooperate toward the early entry into force of the agreements.
(2) Prime Minister Abe explained that Japan supported a strongly-united Europe, and appreciated President Sánchez’s initiatives to that end. The two leaders confirmed that Japan and the EU would work closely to address various challenges facing the international community.
4. North Korea
The two leaders shared the recognition that the full implementation of the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions is indispensable for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. In addition, Prime Minister Abe requested understanding and cooperation for promptly resolving the abductions issue and obtained President Sánchez’s support.
In addition, the two leaders exchanged views on free trade, climate change, the situation in Latin America, and other issues.