Japan-Panama Foreign Ministers' Meeting
On July 18, commencing at 10:30 a.m. (local time; on July 19, 00:30 a.m. JST) for 1 hour and 15 minutes, Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who is visiting the Republic of Panama, held a foreign ministers' meeting with H.E. Ms. Erika MOUYNES, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
- At the beginning, Minister Motegi noted that this is the first visit in 8 years to Panama as a Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan. He stated that Japan and Panama share fundamental values and have a long friendly relationship, and that Japan is a major user of the Panama Canal. Minister Motegi further stated that he would like to deepen cooperation in bilateral relations and in maintaining and strengthening the international order based on the rule of law. In response, Minister Mouynes welcomed Minister Motegi's visit to Panama and expressed her desire to strengthen the Japan-Panama relationship.
- Minister Motegi stated that he hoped to make the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics a safe and secure event and use it as an opportunity to deepen global ties as the world fights to overcome COVID-19. Minister Mouynes expressed her admiration for the hosting of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
- Minister Motegi stated that the 2016 commencement of operations of the expanded Panama Canal has increased the importance of the canal from the perspective of energy security. He requested the continuance of close consultation on the importance of safe and stable operations of the Panama Canal and in securing a favorable environment for its use. Minister Mouynes stated that Japan is a major user of the Panama Canal and that she would like to continue to cooperate with Japan.
- Minister Motegi stated that Japan has been providing medical equipment and other support to Panama based on the belief that international cooperation is the most important factor in dealing with COVID-19. Minister Motegi also stated that he would like to contribute to the sustainable growth of Panama through the development of high-quality infrastructure, referring to the yen loan project for the Panama CityUrban Transport Line 3. Minister Mouynes expressed her gratitude for Japan's economic cooperation and praised Japan's international contribution of providing vaccines.
- The two ministers shared the view to hold an economic dialogue involving the governments of both countries and business people as soon as possible to promote economic relations between Japan and Panama. Minister Mouynes stated that she would send a public-private mission to Japan next year and that she looked forward to Japan's cooperation in investment and financing to help the Panamanian economy recover from the severe impact of COVID-19. Minister Motegi pointed out that green and digital technologies are the key to the post-COVID-19 economy, and that high-quality infrastructure development is important. The two ministers shared the view to promote specific cooperative measures.
- Minister Motegi introduced Japan's efforts to achieve a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)" and called for cooperation to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law, and Minister Mouynes expressed her appreciation for Japan's leadership. The two ministers exchanged views on North Korea, the situation in East Asia including the East and South China Seas, and the situation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Minister Mouynes stated that she shared Japan's interest and concerns, and that she hoped to strengthen communications with Japan, as Panama emphasizes multilateralism. Minister Motegi requested understanding and cooperation for the early resolution of the abduction issue, and received support from Minister Mouynes.
- The two ministers discussed cooperation in the international arena, including climate change, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the United Nations (UN), and shared the view that they will continue to work together in the international arena.