Japan-Finland Relations

January 9, 2024
Foreign Minister Kamikawa shakes hand with Fin Foreign Minister
Japan-Finland Foreign Ministers’ Working Lunch
Japan-Finland Foreign Ministers’ Joint Press Conference

On January 9, commencing at 2:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. on January 9, Japan time), for approximately 75 minutes, Ms. KAMIKAWA Yoko, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who was visiting the Republic of Finland, held working lunch with H.E.Ms. Elina VALTONEN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Finland, for the first time between the two Ministers. The overview is as follows.

In addition, at the joint press occasion after the lunch, Minister Kamikawa announced “Japan’s Nordic Diplomacy Initiative (PDF)Open a New Window,” which will be the basic policy of Japan's Nordic diplomacy.

  1. At the outset, Minister Kamikawa stated that she was pleased to be able to visit Finland for the first time in 39 years as Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and hold a meeting with Foreign Minister Valtonen for the first time, and also expressed her gratitude for receiving words of sympathy regarding the Noto Peninsula Earthquake. Minister Kamikawa stated that Japan and Finland are strategic partners that share values and principles, and that in addition to strengthening bilateral relations, Japan would like to strengthen cooperation in the context of NATO and the EU. Minister Kamikawa also stated that she would like to cooperate with each other as female Ministers on issues such as WPS and gender. In response, Foreign Minister Valtonen stated that she was very pleased with Minister Kamikawa’s visit to Finland, and that Japan and Finland have built strong relations in a wide range of fields, including politics, economy, and culture, and that she hopes to further strengthen the good bilateral relations.
  2. With regard to bilateral relations, Minister Kamikawa reiterated Japan’s support for Finland's accession to NATO, and stated that Japan would like to deepen cooperation toward further strengthening Japan-NATO cooperation. On that basis, the two Ministers confirmed the deepening of cooperation between the two countries in the economic and scientific fields such as advanced technology, renewable energy, 5G/6G, and supercomputers, and shared the view that they would further strengthen various exchanges, including people-to-people and intellectual exchanges between the two countries, especially through the working holiday programmes. In addition, Minister Kamikawa welcomed Finland's participation in the Expo 2025 Osaka-Kansai and expressed her hope that it would create further business opportunities for companies in both countries.
  3. Minister Kamikawa stated that the five Nordic countries, with which Japan shares values and principles, are highly interconnected region, and that Japan would like to deepen cooperation not only bilaterally but also in the framework of Japan and the Nordic countries. Minister Kamikawa stated that Japan would like to promote cooperation with the five Nordic countries under “Japan’s Nordic Diplomacy Initiative,” focusing on the four areas of common interest of Japan and the five Nordic countries: (1) the Arctic and Ocean, (2) Gender equality including WPS, (3) Strengthening economic relations, including Green, Digital and Science & Technology, and (4) Security and Defense Cooperation. With regard to the initiative, Foreign Minister Valtonen stated that it was a wonderful idea and that she supported it, and the two Ministers concurred to promote cooperation based on the initiative.
  4. In light of Minister Kamikawa's visit to Ukraine on January 7, the two Ministers exchanged views on Russia's aggression against Ukraine. Foreign Minister Valtonen expressed her appreciation for Japan's strong commitment, including Minister Kamikawa's visit to Ukraine. Furthermore, the two Ministers also exchanged views on the situation surrounding Israel and Palestine, as well as Indo-Pacific, and confirmed that they would work closely together, including in responding to North Korea on the nuclear and missile issues as well as the abductions issue. The two Ministers also shared the views that they would cooperate on global issues such as strengthening the functions of the United Nations, including UN Security Council reform.

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