Japan-Argentina Relations

January 7, 2021
Foreign Minister Motegi Visits Argentina1
Foreign Minister Motegi Visits Argentina2
On January 7, commencing at 11:50 a.m. local time (11:50 p.m. on January 7 Japan time) for approximately 45 minutes, Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who is currently visiting Argentina, paid a courtesy call on H.E. Mr. Alberto Fernández, President of the Argentine Republic. Following this, at 1:00 p.m. (1:00 a.m. on January 8 Japan time), he held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Felipe Carlos Solá, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship of the Argentine Republic, for approximately two hours and ten minutes. Additionally, prior to the courtesy call and meeting, at 10:30 a.m. on the same day, (10:30 p.m. on January 7 Japan time), he held an informal meeting with representatives of the Nikkei (Argentines of Japanese descent) community for approximately 20 minutes. The overview of each meeting is as follows.

Minister Motegi described Argentina as a strategic partner in many respects, including shared fundamental values, cooperation in international forums such as the G20, the development of trade and investment relations, and traditional ties nurtured via Nikkeis among others. He affirmed that during this visit, he would continue to work with the new administration, which has been pursuing a new set of policies since its inauguration in December 2019, to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law, and to develop bilateral relations in a variety of areas, including the economy.

1 Courtesy call to President Fernández (with Santiago Cafiero, Chief of the Cabinet of the Ministers, Felipe Solá, Foreign Minister, and Guillermo Hunt, Ambassador Designate to Japan in attendance)

1 Courtesy call to President Fernández1
1 Courtesy call to President Fernández2
  1. At the outset, Minister Motegi stated that this was the first high-level visit of officials to take place under the new administrations in the two countries, and expressed gratitude for his reception. He said that Argentina was a strategic partner with shared fundamental values, with which Japan hopes to cooperate more closely in maintaining and strengthening a free and open international order. In response, President Fernández extended his welcome and stated his intention to use this visit as an opportunity to further strengthen strategic bilateral relations and partnership in the international community.
  2. While referring to the ties between the two countries through the Nikkei community, Minister Motegi stated that Japanese companies are making new investments in the country despite the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and  expressed his hopes for the development of Argentina’s business environment. He also stated that he would like to promote sporting and cultural cooperation through the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games and the 2025 Osaka/Kansai Expo. In response, President Fernández remarked on the importance of the ties between people of Japanese descent, of close cooperation bilaterally and in the international arena, and of economic relations with Japan, expressing his intention to engage actively in these areas.
  3. In addition to introducing Japan’s “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” (FOIP) initiative, Minister Motegi gave an explanation of the situation in the East China Sea, South China Sea, and North Korea. The two concurred that Japan and Argentina would cooperate as strategic partners to realize a free and open international order based on the rule of law. Minister Motegi also asked for understanding and cooperation in achieving a swift resolution of the abduction issue, to which President Fernández offered his support.

2 Meeting with Foreign Minister Solá

2 Meeting with Foreign Minister Solá1
2 Meeting with Foreign Minister Solá2
  1. At the outset, Minister Motegi expressed his gratitude to Argentina for receiving him as the first foreign cabinet minister to visit during the COVID-19 pandemic, stating his hope for closer cooperation as strategic partners, both bilaterally and in international forums such as the G20. Minister Solá responded by welcoming Minister Motegi’s visit and expressing his desire to further develop relations with Japan as an important partner.
  2. While touching on the ties as a“bridge” that the Nikkei community has built between the two countries, Minister Motegi noted that bilateral economic ties have grown broader and deeper, with the number of Japanese companies operating in Argentina doubling in four years. He stated that as well as cooperating to develop the business environment, including the establishment of legal frameworks, he would like to continue collaborating in a variety of other fields, such as ICT and the digital economy, initiatives for a decarbonized society, and efforts to combat COVID-19, which includes ongoing support of 500 million yen for strengthening Argentina’s healthcare and medical systems. In response, Minister Solá thanked Japan for its cooperation and stated that he would like to deepen cooperation between the two countries. Moreover, referring to the important role that Japanese companies play in Argentina’s economy, he said he would like to continue endeavoring to further strengthen economic ties.
  3. The two ministers, in addition to affirming that they would strengthen coperaion on international issues such as the WTO and the fight against COVID-19, exchanged views on efforts to achieve a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” the situation in Asia as well as the situation in the Americas, including the inauguration of the new Biden administration in the U.S. As confirmed in the courtesy call to President Fernández, they concurred that they would cooperate as strategic partners to realize a free and open international order based on the rule of law.

3 Informal meeting with Argentines of Japanese Descent

  1. Minister Motegi met with representatives of the Nikkei community and stated that as a Japanese citizen, he is proud of the contributions made by the member of the Nikkei community to the local community, including the provision of infection control supplies amid the COVID-19 outbreak. As well as announcing support for medical facilities, welfare facilities, and infection prevention projects operated by Japanese-Argentine organizations, he said that he would continue to support the Nikkei community, who serve as a “bridge” between Japan and Argentina, and contribute to the development of the country.
  2. The Japanese-Argentines in attendance welcomed Minister Motegi’s first visit as Minister of Foreign Affairs, thanked the Japanese government for its support in the fight against COVID-19, and stated that the Nikkei community would continue to work with Japan in contributing to Argentinian society.

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