Japan-Sweden Relations

December 15, 2019
(Photo 1) Foreign Ministers shaking hands
(Photo 2) Japan-Sweden Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
On Sunday, December 15, commencing at 6:00 p.m. (local time; Monday, December 16, 2:00 a.m., JST) for approximately 30 minutes, Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who is visiting Spain to attend the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Foreign Ministers' Meeting, held a meeting with H.E. Ms. Ann Linde, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Sweden. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1. Opening remarks

At the outset, Minister MOTEGI congratulated Minister Linde on her appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs in September 2019, and stated, “Last week, Dr. YOSHINO Akira from Japan participated in the Nobel Prize award ceremony. In recent years, Japanese people have won Nobel Prizes each year, and December is a time when affinity for Sweden is particularly high in Japan.” He also stated, “I would like to advance cooperation in broad fields with Sweden, with which Japan shares fundamental values including the rule of law.” Minister Linde stated that the events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Sweden held last year were great success, that business exchanges are becoming increasingly active, and that a new level of bilateral relations has been reached.

2. Bilateral relations

Minister MOTEGI expressed congratulations for the success of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Sweden last year, and stated, “I welcome that, this year, the Agreement between Japan and the Kingdom of Sweden on Social Security was signed in April and the Agreement Between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Kingdom of Sweden Regarding Working Holiday Visas was signed in August.” In addition, Minister MOTEGI mentioned the Swedish business leaders who accompanied Their Majesties the King and Queen of the Kingdom of Sweden on their visit to Japan in 2018 as well as the visit to Sweden in November by Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), and stated, “I expect that this momentum will be leveraged, exchanges between our countries’ industries will be promoted, and economic relations will further deepen.” In response, Minister Linde stated that she held a dinner with Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) during their visit to Sweden, and that she would like economic relations to be continued to be developed.

3. Regional affairs

The two ministers exchanged views regarding the regional situation, including North Korea affairs. 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 the United Nations Security Council resolutions. Furthermore, Japan sought Sweden's understanding and cooperation for the early resolution of the abductions issue and obtained its support.

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