Japan-Cuba Relations

May 3, 2015
On May 2, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, met with H.E. Mr. Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, Vice-President of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, during his visit to Cuba. An overview of the meeting is as follows.
  1. At the beginning, Minister Kishida stated that “You kindly invited me to Cuba during our meeting in Japan in March, and I am pleased to be the first Japanese Foreign Minister to visit Cuba so soon after that meeting.” Minister Kishida also stated that “I hope to strengthen economic relations between our two countries. In order to achieve this, it is extremely important to improve the business environment in Cuba.”
  2. In response, Vice-President Cabrisas stated that he was also pleased to meet with Minister Kishida again so soon, and that his visit to Cuba together with a delegation of Japanese companies symbolized the start of a new era. Furthermore, Vice-President Cabrisas said that Cuba was committed to strengthening its economic relations with Japan. Minister Kishida then explained that full-fledged grant aid would be started and that the launch of a public-business sector joint comittee had been proposed. Vice-President Cabrisas welcomed the start of grant aid that was also mentioned by Prime Minister Abe in March, and expressed his agreement for establishing a new framework for dialogue that is suited to the new era.
  3. Minister Kishida stated that “Japan is watching with interest to see how the Mariel Special Economic Development Zone and the new Foreign Investment Law in Cuba are being utilized.” In addition, the representatives of Japanese companies in attendance expressed their great interest in Cuba, and that they were ready to accept young engineers and others from Cuba for training, thus expressing to the Cuban side Japan’s strong intention to strengthen economic relations. Vice- President Cabrisas remarked that the Cuban people highly appreciated Japan for the high quality of its products and as a country that honored its agreements.

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