Japan-Latvia Relations

February 18, 2023
Two Ministers who shake hands with a smile facing straight at a camera
Two Ministers who have a talk after having a seat at a table

On February 18, commencing at 4:05 p.m. for approximately 25 minutes (local time; 0:05 a.m. on February 19, Japan time), Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, during his visit to Germany to attend the Munich Security Conference. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

  1. Minister Hayashi mentioned that, as Japan assumes the G7 Presidency and serves as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council this year, Japan would like to work in close cooperation with Latvia to contribute to upholding and strengthening the international order based on the rule of law, including addressing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
  2. Regarding Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Minister Hayashi stated that Japan had been imposing strict sanctions against Russia and providing strong support for Ukraine. He also stated that Japan, as the only country to have ever suffered atomic bombings during wartime, could never accept Russia’s threat of nuclear weapons, let alone their use. The two ministers concurred that it is necessary to maintain unity among the like-minded countries.
  3. Minister Hayashi explained that in light of the increasingly severe security environment, Japan formulated the new National Security Strategy at the end of last year. Minister Rinkēvičs welcomed the strategy. The two ministers also discussed the situations of the East and South China Seas, addressing economic security issues including economic coercion, opaque and unfair development finance, addressing North Korea including the nuclear and missile issues such as today's ICBM-class ballistic missile launch as well as the abductions issue, and strengthening the functions of the UN including the Security Council reform. The two ministers concurred on their further cooperation.
  4. Minister Hayashi mentioned that he looked forward to seeing the progress in Japan-Latvian cooperation in the areas of energy, connectivity etc., and robust people-to-people exchange between two countries through the working holiday agreement concluded last year. The two ministers shared the view to further promote bilateral cooperation in the areas of economy and the people-to-people exchange. Furthermore, two ministers shared the view to work together forward a fruitful 4th Japan-Baltic Cooperation Dialogue to be hosted by Japan.

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