Japan-Italy Summit Meeting
On June 7, commencing at just after 6:30 p.m. (local time) for approximately 30 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, who is currently visiting Elmau in the Federal Republic of Germany to participate in the G7 Summit, held a Japan-Italy summit meeting with H.E. Mr. Matteo Renzi, President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
1. Opening Remarks
(1) Prime Minister Abe conveyed his congratulations on the opening of the Milan Expo, and stated he is glad that a number of people are visiting the Japan Pavilion. He also commented that he intends to significantly enhance bilateral relations through the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Italy next year; and to deepen collaboration between the two countries, utilizing Japan and Italy’s opportunities to serve as the G7 presidency holder next year and the year after next, respectively.
(2) President Renzi stated that Japan and Italy have many opportunities for cooperation, friendship, and moving toward the future. He added that it is delightful that the Japan Pavilion has been attracting the most visitors among the various pavilions at the Milan Expo; and that he hopes to deepen bilateral cooperation in the future particularly in areas such as food and lifestyle. President Renzi also commented that there are significant possibilities for cooperation between the two countries, when they will successively serve as holder of the G7 presidency next year and the year after.
2. Bilateral Relations
(1) Prime Minister Abe welcomed the fact that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of sister city relations between Kyoto and Florence; and the conclusion of the Agreement between Japan and Italy on Social Security was approved by the Italian Parliament. Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe pointed out that large-scale investment has been contracted by Japanese companies, and stated that Japan will contribute to the development of the Italian economy making use of the knowledge of Japanese companies.
(2) President Renzi stated it is important that the way how Japan and Italy cooperate through combining their national systems. He remarked that the combination of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and TPP will further strengthen cooperation between the two countries.
3. Security and Regional Affairs
(1) Prime Minister Abe stated that the “Legislation for Peace and Security” currently being debated in the Diet, if enacted, will enlarge the room for cooperation with Italy on PKO, logistical support, and other activities. He praised Italy’s leadership aimed at ensuring security and stability in the Mediterranean region toward addressing such issues as refugees from North Africa, fight against terrorism.
(2) In regard to the situation in Ukraine, Prime Minister Abe commented that he is focusing on G7 solidarity to improve the situation, pointing out that it is important to keep pressure on Russia and a dialogue with Russia. President Renzi stated that he completely agreed with what had been said by Prime Minister Abe. Both leaders agreed that it is necessary to maintain G7 solidarity and unity with regard to Russia, and to encourage Ukraine to carry out reforms.