Japan-Panama Relations

February 23, 2024
Minister Kamikawa shaking hands with Minister Royo
Minister Kamikawa and Minister Royo at the Panama Canal
Minister Kamikawa being briefed by an official on the Panama Canal

On February 23, commencing at 14:30 p.m. (local time; February 24, 4:30 a.m. JST) for approximately 45 minutes, Ms. KAMIKAWA Yoko, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who is visiting the Republic of Panama, visited the Panama Canal, where she received an overview of canal operations from Dr. Arístides Royo Sánchez, Minister of Canal Affairs and former President of the Republic of Panama.

Minister Kamikawa expressed her gratitude for the trust Minister Royo has in Japan. With regard to controlling the number of passages in the canal due to water shortages, she requested the safe passage of cargo transiting to and from Japan.
Through this visit and the exchange of opinions Minister Kamikawa and Minister Royo confirmed their cooperation for the maintenance and development of a "free and open ocean," and the importance of maintaining coordination to ensure a safe and stable environment for the Panama Canal, of which Japan is a major user.

(Reference) Panama Canal
The 80-kilometer Panama Canal, which connects the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, opened in 1914 and was expanded in 2016. Approximately 14.5% (Panama fiscal year 2023) of the cargo passing through the canal is transiting to or from Japan. Japan has made several contributions to the development of the Canal: a Japanese engineer assisted in the construction of the canal before its opening, and towing vehicles made in Japan have been used in the canal.

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