Japan-Norway Relations

December 15, 2019
(Photo 1) Foreign Ministers shaking hands
(Photo 2) Japan-Norway Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
On December 15, commencing at 2:35 p.m. local time (same day, 10:35 p.m. JST) for approximately 30 minutes, Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who is visiting the Kingdom of Spain to attend the ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, held a Japan-Norway Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with H.E. Ms. Ine Eriksen Søreide, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1. Opening remarks

At the outset, Minister Motegi stated that Norway is “an important partner sharing fundamental values, including the rule of law, and Japan and Norway are both peace-loving and maritime nations.” Minister Motegi stated that, as such, Japan “intends to promote cooperation with Norway in wide-ranging areas, including the Arctic, whaling, and sustainable development.” Minister Søreide stated that she concurs with Minister Motegi’s remarks, and that while the two countries are cooperating in many areas, the bilateral relationship has even greater potential, and expressed Norway’s intention to further strengthen their economic relations, including trade.

2. Bilateral relations

Minister Motegi expressed gratitude for Norway’s assistance in relocating the observatory operated by Japan’s National Institute of Polar Research in Ny-Ålesund in the Svalbard Islands, and expressed a desire to further strengthen cooperation in the field of whaling. The two Ministers shared the view that they will further cooperate on polar observations and whaling. Minister Søreide noted on the importance of polar observations from the perspective of climate change.

3. Regional affairs

The two Ministers exchanged views regarding the regional situation, including North Korea. The two Ministers exchanged views on situation regarding North Korea, including recent developments, and shared the view to continue close coordination toward the complete denuclearization of North Korea, including full implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. Furthermore, Japan sought Norway’s understanding and cooperation for the early resolution of the abductions issue and obtained its support.

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