Latin America and the Caribbean

Prime Minister Abe's Visit to Brazil

August 2, 2014
Japanese

  • Welcome Ceremony
  • Japan-Brazil Summit Meeting
  • Meeting with Japanese descendants
Mr. Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, paid a visit to the Federative Republic of Brazil, and participated in events in Brasilia and Sao Paulo from July 31 to August 2. The overview of the outcomes of this visit is as follows. (This was the first time that a prime minister of Japan to Brazil in 10 years, after Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit in 2004.)

I. Overview

1. Main Itinerary

August 1 (Friday) (Brasilia)
Exchange of views with the Brazilian Business Community
Informal Talks with Chamber of Deputies Members and Senior Government Officials of Japanese Descent
Gratitude Gathering for Football
Welcome Ceremony
Japan-Brazil Summit Meeting
Exchange of Views with Members of the Japan-Brazil Wise Men Group
Ceremony for the Exchanging of Memorandums and Other Documents
Joint Press Announcement
Luncheon Hosted by President Rousseff
Planting of a Commemorative Tree, and Exchange of views with Representatives of Groups of Japanese Descent
August 2 (Saturday) (Sao Paulo)
Offering of Prayers and Flowers at Mausoleum of Pioneers of Japanese Immigration, Visit to Japanese Pavilion, and Planting of a Commemorative Tree
Press Conference
Seminar on Japanese and Brazilian Medical Regulations
Meeting with Governor Geraldo Alckmin of the State of Sao Paulo
Policy Speech on Latin America and the Caribbean at the Business Seminar
Visit to Historical Museum of Japanese Immigration in Brazil
Meeting with Japanese descendants (Japanese descendants politicians, representatives from four major Japanese descendants organizations, and Japanese descendants youth playing active roles in Brazil)
Welcome Ceremony Hosted by Organizations of Japanese descendants
Sport for Tomorrow (Bonds of Sports between Japan and Brazil "from Rio to Tokyo"
Washoku Seminar/Cooking Lesson

2. Exchange of views with the Brazilian Business Community

On Friday, August 1, commencing at 8:45 a.m. (local time; 8:45 p.m. August 1 Japan time) for approximately 20 minutes, Prime Minister Abe, during his visit to Brazil, attended the Exchange of views with the Brazilian Business Community hosted by Keidanren and the Brazilian National Confederation of Industry (CNI).
Prime Minister Abe was welcomed by Japanese and Brazilian business leaders, including President Robson Braga de Andrade of CNI, Chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara of Keidanren, and Chairman Akio Mimura of the Wise Men Group on the Japan-Brazil Strategic Economic Partnership. The Prime Minister took part in a candid and lively exchange of views conducted between Japanese and Brazilian companies regarding infrastructure and energy investment, and had an opportunity to gain firsthand insight into the needs and business opportunities in Brazil.

3. Exchange of views with Chamber of Deputies Members and Senior Government Officials of Japanese Descent

On Friday, August 1, commencing at 9:10 a.m. (local time; 9:10 p.m. August 1 Japan time) for approximately 20 minutes, Prime Minister Abe conversed with Chamber of Deputies members and senior government officials of Japanese descent who have active roles in Brazil, at the Prime Minister's hotel.
Prime Minister Abe respected them for serving active roles on the front line with both awareness of and pride in being Japanese descendants. The Prime Minister hoped that the Chamber of Deputies members and senior government officials of Japanese descent will continue to help further develop the friendly bilateral relations supported by human bonds as a bridge between the two countries.
Chairman Junji Abe of the Brazil-Japan Parliamentary Group welcomed Prime Minister Abe's visit to Brazil, and expressed his commitment to continuing to make efforts to strengthen the Japan-Brazil relationship.

4. Gratitude Gathering for Football

On Friday, August 1, commencing at 9:35 a.m. (local time; 9:35 p.m. August 1 Japan time) for approximately 20 minutes, Prime Minister Abe attended a Gratitude Gathering for Football."
Prime Minister Abe expressed his appreciation to Brazilian football players and others for their great contributions to the development of football in Japan.
Prime Minister Abe presented a trophy engraved with the word "Kansha (gratitude)" to Zico, who was representing the invitees. Prime Minister Abe received a football signed by all of the invitees from Zico. Prime Minister Abe and Zico exchanged passes with each other.

5. Japan-Brazil Summit Meeting

6. Exchange of Views with Members of the Japan-Brazil Wise Men Group

On Friday, August 1, commencing at 12:25 p.m. (local time; 12:25 a.m. August 2 Japan time) for approximately 20 minutes, Prime Minister Abe, together with President Rousseff, met members of the Japan-Brazil Wise Men Group.
Prime Minister Abe has received a courtesy call from Japanese and Brazilian members of the Wise Men Group in 2007 on the occasion of its second meeting in Tokyo. In addition, on the occasion of the fourth meeting in August 2013, the Prime Minister received the "Final Report (Recommendations)" from the Japanese members following their return to Japan. The report compiled priorities and challenges in promoting Japan-Brazil economic exchanges.
Upon receiving a follow-up explanation, Prime Minister Abe said he was pleased by all of the progress made in the bilateral economic relationship in less than one year. The Prime Minister stated that the Japanese Government stood ready to collaborate with the business community to take initiatives on sectors where there was further room for cooperation, including technical cooperation.

7. Ceremony for the Exchanging of Memorandums and Other Documents, and Joint Press Announcement

Both leaders held a ceremony to exchange memorandums and other documents signed between the two countries including their private sectors and convened a joint press announcement. During the joint press announcement, Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan and Brazil were "partners that have shared and realized dreams together" and have delivered significant cooperation outcomes hand-in-hand in many areas, including cerrado development, shipbuilding, and iron making. The Prime Minister explained that in the economic realm Brazil had vast investment opportunities in the energy sector, including deep-sea oil field, and infrastructure transport, and that it was a huge market consisting of nearly 200 million people. The Prime Minister stated that Japanese companies were eying Brazil, as seen from the Prime Minister's accompaniment on this visit by a high-level economic mission. The Prime Minister explained that he and President Rousseff concurred to continue to promote mutually beneficial cooperative relations, with the public and private sectors working together.

8. Luncheon Hosted by President Rousseff

On Friday, August 1, commencing at 1:40 p.m. (local time; 1:40 a.m. August 2 Japan time) for approximately 80 minutes, Prime Minister Abe and Mrs. Akie Abe attended a luncheon hosted by President Rousseff at Itamaraty Palace, Ministry of External Relations of Brazil.
President Rousseff proposed a toast, commenting on the many years of friendship enjoyed between Japan and Brazil, praising the deepening of economic exchanges as well as of science and technology, scholarly, and educational exchanges, and hoping for the further expansion of bilateral cooperation.
In his toast, Prime Minister Abe continued by noting that the two countries shared fundamental values, such as democracy, rule of law, and respect for basic human rights. He said two countries had a special relationship of trust characterized by bonds between their peoples, with Brazil being home to the largest community of Japanese descendants outside of Japan. The Prime Minister touched on the contributions made to football in Japan by Brazilian football players and others, the achievements of the Japan-Brazil summit meeting, and the further development of Japan-Brazil economic relations, and made a toast.

9. Planting of a Commemorative Tree, and Informal Talks with Representatives of Japanese Descendant Groups

On Friday, August 1, commencing at 3:50 p.m. (local time; 3:50 a.m. August 2 Japan time) for approximately 10 minutes, Prime Minister Abe and Mrs. Abe saw the commemorative tree planted by former Minister for Foreign Affairs Shintaro Abe during his visit to Brazil in 1985. Subsequently, Prime Minister Abe and Mrs. Abe planted a commemorative Ipe tree in the front garden of the Embassy of Japan.
From 4 p.m. (local time; 4 a.m. August 2 Japan time) for approximately 30 minutes, Prime Minister Abe conversed with around 200 representatives groups of Japanese descent at the official residence of the Japanese Ambassador to Brazil.
The informal talks started with welcome remarks by Chairman Minoru Takahashi of the Federation of Japan-Brazil Associations of the Central-West Region.
Following these remarks, Prime Minister Abe delivered a speech in which he spoke about the contributions made by Japanese descendants to Japan-Brazil relations, congratulated Hikari Daiko from Brasilia on their first win of the Brazilian Taiko Festival, and described the broad expansion of invitation and training programs for Japanese descendants. The Prime Minister then conversed with the participants.

10. Offering of Prayers and Flowers at Mausoleum of Pioneers of Japanese Immigration, Visit to Japanese Pavilion, and Planting of Commemorative Tree

On Saturday, August 2, commencing at around 9:20 a.m. (local time; 9:20 p.m. August 2 Japan time), Prime Minister Abe and Mrs. Abe offered flowers to the Mausoleum of Pioneers of Japanese Immigration and offered prayers at Ibirapuera Park.
They then visited the Japanese Pavilion at the park and planted a commemorative tree.

11. Seminar on Japanese and Brazilian Medical Regulations

On Saturday, August 2, commencing at 11:40 a.m. (local time; 11:40 p.m. August 2 Japan time) for approximately 15 minutes, Prime Minister Abe attended a seminar on Japanese and Brazilian medical regulations.
In the past, much time was needed for the Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) to approve pharmaceuticals. This in turn caused setbacks in Japan's provision of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment to Brazil. With a goal to accelerating the screening process under Brazil's pharmaceutical regulatory system, this seminar was organized for the first time by organizations, including Japan's regulatory authority, the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA), and Brazil's regulatory authority, ANVISA.
Prime Minister Abe delivered a speech in which he explained Japan's experience with the resolution of the drug lag problem in Japan and announced the launch of Japan-Brazil joint activities aimed at accelerating the screening process under Brazil's pharmaceutical regulatory system.

12. Meeting with Governor Geraldo Alckmin of the State of Sao Paulo

On August 2, commencing at around 12 p.m. (local time; 12 a.m. August 3 Japan time) for approximately 10 minutes, Prime Minister Abe held a meeting with Governor Geraldo Alckmin of the State of Sao Paulo.
Prime Minister Abe expressed his appreciation to the State of Sao Paulo for warmly hosting around 1 million of the around 1.6 million Japanese descendants in Brazil. The Prime Minister stated that he looked forward to collaborating with the Government of the State of Sao Paulo to ensure that the 120th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Brazil in 2015 will give momentum to the further development of the bilateral relations.
Prime Minister Abe noted that Sao Paulo is at the heart of the Brazilian economy and that during his visit he felt firsthand the dynamism and diversity of the Brazilian economy. The Prime Minister expressed his hope that Japan and the State of Sao Paulo would deepen their cooperation in the field of science and technology.

13. Policy Speech on Latin America and the Caribbean at a Business Seminar

14. Visit to Historical Museum of Japanese Immigration in Brazil

On Saturday, August 2, commencing at 3:30 p.m. (local time; 3:30 a.m. August 3 Japan time) for approximately 10 minutes, Prime Minister Abe visited the Historical Museum of Japanese Immigration in Brazil. This museum was founded as a part of projects commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japanese immigrants for the purpose of exhibiting and preserving materials on the roles that Japanese immigrants have played in Brazilian society and their achievements. Prime Minister Abe saw exhibited materials on the life of Japanese immigrants at the beginning of immigration and materials concerning Japanese society in Brazil during World War II with Mr. Yamashita, Vice-Chairman of the Administration Comission of the Museum of History of Japanese immigration in Brazil, as a guide and thought of the severe lives and difficulties that the Japanese immigrants had suffered then.
Subsequently, commencing at 3:40 p.m. (local time; 3:40 a.m. August 3 Japan time) for approximately 50 minutes, Prime Minister Abe held meetings respectively with politicians of Japanese descendants, representatives from four organizations of Japanese descent, and Japanese descendants youth playing active roles in Brazil.
Prime Minister Abe stated that the existence of Japanese descendants were crucial for the friendly Japan-Brazil relations of the day and praised their achievements in respective fields. In the meeting, approximately 50 politicians joined the meeting and Prime Minister Abe expressed his respect to the politicians who are working with pride as Japanese descendants. In the meeting with representatives from four organizations of Japanese descent, Prime Minister Abe expressed his respect to the participants supporting the largest Japanese community in the world and also talked about Mr. Shintaro Abe, who visited Brazil in 1985 as the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Finally, in the meeting with youth of Japanese descent, Prime Minister Abe expressed his expectation that they would support the community of Japanese descent which now spans as far as six generations and also expressed his high expectation that the people-to-people relations between Japan and Brazil would be further enhanced in the future. Moreover, the Prime Minister called for cooperation from Japanese descendants for further enhancement and deepening of the bilateral relations toward 2015 which marks the 120th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

15. Welcome Ceremony Hosted by organizations of Japanese descendants

On Saturday, August 2, commencing at 4:30 p.m. (local time; 4:30 a.m. August 3 Japan time) for approximately 30 minutes, Prime Minister Abe and his wife attended a welcome ceremony hosted by organizations of Japanese descendants held at the Large Hall in the ground floor of the Brazilian Society of Japanese Culture and Social Assistance.
Following national anthems of the two countries, Prime Minister Abe delivered a speech in which he praised the achievements by Japanese descendants in Japan-Brazil relations and expressed his respect for the efforts for the inheritance of Japanese culture, Japanese language education, sports, and improvement of medical care and social welfare, as well as the popularization of Japanese culture by organizations of Japanese descendants. Moreover, Prime Minister Abe announced a significant increase of up to approximately 100 personnel in the Youth and Senior Volunteers for Nikkei (Japanese descendant) Communities.
In addition, touching on the fact that 2015 marks the 120th anniversary of establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries, Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention to endeavor to promote a celebratory atmosphere in cultural exchanges and provide support for popularization of Japanese language education.
Finally, Prime Minister Abe concluded his speech by wishing for the further development of the Nikkei communities, received a bouquet of flowers, and took photographs with more than 1,000 Japanese descendants.

16. Sport for Tomorrow

On August 2 (Saturday) commencing at 5:30 p.m. (local time; 5:30 a.m. Japan time) for approximately 30 minutes, Prime Minister Abe attended "Sport for Tomorrow ? the bonds of Japan-Brazil sports tied together by Japanese-Brazilian society ‘from Rio to Tokyo. '" Prime Minister Abe delivered a message of support in which he provided encouragement to athletes?some of whom are Brazilians of Japanese descent?who are contributing to the sport community in Brazil, and expressed his hope that the dreams of both countries will become tied together, from Rio to Tokyo. He then donated judo uniforms, table tennis equipment, and baseball and softball equipment to relevant sport organizations.

17. Washoku Seminar/Cooking Lesson

On Saturday, August 2, commencing at 6:05 p.m. (local time; 6:05 a.m. August 3 Japan time) for approximately 15 minutes, Prime Minister Abe attended the "Washoku seminar/cooking lesson" held at a hotel in Sao Paulo City. The "Washoku seminar/cooking lesson" was held to get a message across widely about the attraction of Japanese food and culture through sushi and dishes using dashi stock to cooks of Japanese restaurants in Sao Paulo City and students learning at local cooking schools for the purpose of widely spreading "true washoku and its spirit" in Brazil.
At the lesson, lectures were given on washoku and local original dishes using Japanese cooking ingredients by three instructors - Mr. Masayoshi Kazato, Director of Sushi Skill Institute Japan, who came from Japan, and Mr. Shinya Koike, a leading authority among local Japanese restaurants, as well as Mr. Alex Atala, one of the top chefs in Brazil.
Following an address by Prime Minister Abe, Prime Minister Abe ate dishes cooked at the lesson and deepened exchanges with the local cooks and students learning at local cooking schools.

II Evaluation

On the occasion of the first visit to Brazil by a Japanese Prime Minister in 10 years, Prime Minister Abe established a strategic global partnership with Brazil, with whom Japan has a special relationship of trust through human bonds and shares fundamental values such as democracy and the rule of law, and announced a joint declaration in which promotion of cooperation in a wider range of fields is mentioned. Thanks to the creation of the strategic global partnership, the bilateral relations are expected to be elevated to new heights.

Because it was the second summit meeting between Prime Minister Abe and President Rousseff following the meeting held on the occasion of the G20 summit last year, the meeting and luncheon were held in a friendly atmosphere and a personal relationship of trust was also cultivated between the two leaders.

Approximately 50 leaders of business circles, government organizations, and academic organizations of Japan accompanied Prime Minister Abe, showing strong interests in Brazil, a country emerging as a global major power. President Rousseff also expressed her strong interest in an increase in investment from Japan, and Prime Minister Abe responded that he would promote enhancement of the bilateral relations through cooperation for human resource development, backing up business operations by Japanese enterprises.

Prime Minister Abe exchanged opinions with representatives from Nikkei communities and many other people on activities by the local Nikkei community and their further challenges. Prime Minister Abe then reconfirmed that in Brazil, which has a history of over a century of Japanese immigrants, the existence of the Nikkei communities is crucial for the friendly Japan-Brazil relations of the day and confirmed that he would proactively support the Nikkei communities in the future as well.

Policies concerning Japanese descendants and visa procedures which were expressed and announced on the occasion of the Prime Minister's visit to Brazil are as follows:

1. Japanese descendants

  • (1) Since 2015 marks the 120th anniversary of establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries, a celebratory atmosphere in cultural exchanges will be promoted and support for popularization of Japanese language education will be provided.
  • (2) Approximately 60 Youth and Senior Volunteers for Nikkei (Japanese descendant) Communities from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have been working for the instruction of Japanese language, Japanese culture and sports every year and the number of volunteers will be increased significantly to approximately 100.
  • (3) For the purpose of increasing interest to Japan among younger generations, the invitation program of meeting of next-generation Japanese descendant leaders will be expanded and the number of participants into the program for Developing Leaders in Nikkei Communities will be doubled to 100.
  • (4) The Government of Japan will newly dispatch "Nikkei community volunteers" and implement a "Training course for Nikkei trainees in Japan" as part of the assistance to hospitals for Japanese descendants. The Government of Japan will also provide assistance for the improvement of the medical context in Brazil through consideration for future expansion of such programs.

2. Introduction of multiple visas for holders of the general passport of Brazil

As part of efforts that contribute to the promotion of bilateral relations, the Government of Japan has decided to introduce multiple visas for the holders of ordinary passports of Brazil.