Meeting between Prime Minister Abe and His Majesty the King Felipe VI of Spain
October 21, 2019
On October 21, at 5:20 p.m. for around 30 minutes, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with His Majesty the King Felipe VI of Spain during his visit to Japan. The overview of the meeting is as follows. The meeting was also attended by Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Naoki Okada on the Japanese side and Foreign Minister and High Representative-designate of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Fontelles, the Head of the Royal Household Jaime Alfonsín Alfonso, and the Ambassador of Spain to Japan Jorge Toledo Albiñana on the Spanish side.
- At the beginning of the meeting, Prime Minister Abe said “the long-standing relationship between the Imperial Household and the Royal Household is an indispensable, important bond that advances the friendly relationship between our two countries. I thank you again from my heart for Your Majesty’s visit to Japan.” In response, King Felipe VI expressed his condolences for the victims of Typhoon Hagibis (Typhoon No. 19) while also sharing that he felt very honored to be able to participate in the Enthronement Ceremony of the Emperor. The King stated that he is praying for the prosperity of the new Imperial Household and the Reiwa Era and that expressed his desire to continue to develop the intimate and friendly relationship between the Imperial and Royal Households. He shared that he saw the naming of the Reiwa Era as a message of peace and harmony to the world, and that he hopes that Japan will continue its role in ensuring the peace and stability of Asia.
- Prime Minister Abe, speaking about bilateral relations, said that “Spain is an important partner that shares our basic values such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.” He continued that “for last year’s 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, there were more than 600 commemorative events held in Japan and Spain, and I am overjoyed that mutual understanding among people in both countries was deepened. Last October, President Sánchez and I decided to elevate the bilateral relationship to a ‘strategic partnership.’ Through discussions at various levels in a wide number of fields, I want to further develop favorable bilateral relations.” King Felipe VI responded that, based on the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Spain, the efforts to strengthen the bilateral relations has produced a good result, and that he intends to continue the development in various fields including the economy, tourism, and culture. King Felipe VI also congratulated Japan on the success of the G20 Osaka Summit and prayed for further success at related meetings.
- King Felipe VI said that while Madrid may have lost to Tokyo to be the host of next year’s Olympics and Paralympics, Spain would be sending many athletes to Japan and he is praying for the success of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
- King Felipe VI then introduced Foreign Minister Borrell, the High Representative-designate of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to Prime Minister Abe. The Prime Minister also expressed that he would like to work together to strengthen Japan-EU relations.