Japan-Latvia Relations

July 2, 2021
Foreign Minister MOTEGI Visits Latvi
Foreign Minister MOTEGI Visits Latvi 2

 On July 2, commencing at 11:00 a.m. local time(same day, 5:00 p.m. JST) for 40 minutes, Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who is visiting Latvia, paid a courtesy call on H.E. Dr. Krišjanis Karinš, Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia.
 After the courtesy call, commencing at 11:45 a.m. (local time; 5:45 p.m. JST) for 2 hours and 10 minutes, Minister Motegi held a foreign ministers’ meeting with H.E. Mr. Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia. After the meeting, the two ministers issued a Japan-Latvia Foreign Ministers’ Joint Statement.
 After the meeting, Minister Motegi, under the guidance of Minister Rinkēvičs, offered flowers to the Freedom Monument and planted trees to commemorate the 100th anniversary of their friendship.
 The overview of the series of meetings is as follows.

  1. Minister Motegi stated that he was pleased to be able to visit Latvia for the first time in history as the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and on the 100th anniversary of the friendship between Japan and Latvia. He stated that Japan attaches great importance to the bilateral relations with Latvia, a partner with whom they share fundamental values. The Latvian government welcomed Minister Motegi's visit and stated that they would like to further develop good relations with Japan on this 100th anniversary of their friendship.
  2. Both sides appreciated the progress in cooperation, such as the investment of Japanese companies in Latvia in the energy field. They shared the view that the countries would further promote cooperation in fields such as politics, economy, and culture, based on Minister Motegi’s visit and this year’s 100th anniversary of their friendship.
  3. Minister Motegi stated that he believed that Japanese companies with high technological capabilities could contribute to region-wide infrastructure projects in the Baltic States, including Latvia, such as the project for synchronization with the continental network. Both ministers shared the view to promote cooperation to strengthen European integration. In addition, Minister Motegi requested cooperation on lifting EU’s import restrictions on Japanese food products.
  4. Minister Motegi welcomed the formulation of "EU’s Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific" in April as a strong indicator that the EU would be involved in the Indo-Pacific, and that Japan would promote cooperation with the EU towards a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific." Minister Rinkēvičs expressed strong support for a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific."
  5. Both ministers exchanged their views on East Asia and shared serious concerns about continued and strengthened attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force in the East and the South China Seas, including the Coast Guard Law, as well as the situations surrounding Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. They shared the views on the importance of maintaining and strengthening a rule-based free and open international order through unity of like-minded countries that share fundamental values. Both sides confirmed full implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions toward the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of North Korea. Minister Motegi asked for understanding and cooperation for the immediate resolution of the abductions issue and gained the support of Latvia. In addition, they exchanged views on regional affairs including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus as well as the cooperation between Japan and NATO.
  6. The Latvian side expressed their support for holding the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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