Latin America and the Caribbean
Speech by Prime Minister Abe
Juntos!! Bringing infinite depth to Japan - Latin America and the Caribbean Cooperation
August 2, 2014
Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
It is an honor to be here today to speak to the distinguished guests.
My visit to Latin America and the Caribbean concludes here in Sao Paolo.
At the outset and taking advantage of this opportunity, I wish to make a resolution. Japanese Prime Ministers and other Ministers will visit Brazil and other countries of Latin America and the Caribbean with increased frequency.
Many other ministers--needless to say foreign ministers, but also ministers of finance, of economy, trade and industry, amongst others-will be visiting Brazil and the many countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, one after the other.
By doing so, what is it that Japan aspires to…with Brazil, with Latin America and the Caribbean.
Summarizing them into three parts, in Portuguese, or rather, in my humble Portuguese, they are: Progredir juntos (progress together), Liderar juntos (lead together) and Inspirar juntos (inspire together).
Thank you. You understood what I meant.
I call these "juntos" the "three guiding principles".
From here on, as Japan infinitely deepens its cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean, these are the principles that will constantly guide us.
I emphasize the importance of "juntos"; of sharing, hand in hand, hearts united, hardships, efforts, and hopefully, jubilations between Japan and Brazil, Japan and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Raise your voice with me.
Japan and Brazil, Japan and Latin America and the Caribbean, juntos!!
2. Progredir Juntos (progress together)
The first guiding principle is progredir juntos (progress together).
Above all, this is a call to further deepen the economic ties between Japan whose economy is on a vigorous march forward and Latin America and the Caribbean.
After a bold monetary policy and a flexible fiscal policy, as the first and second arrows, the so-called "Abenomics" is now shooting its third arrows of private investment stimuli, aiming deep at the heart of Japan.
Eyes on Japan. Once-in-decades reforms are taking place in a number of areas. In agriculture, in medicine, in the energy industry, I will continue our reforms without fear. I shall strike a new note, continue my efforts, to open our society and our country and provide further opportunities for women.
Count on Japan as your partner. That is my first call to you.
During this visit, quite a few top executives from the Japanese business communities have been with us.
Let us aspire, so that Japanese and Brazilian firms, as well as Japanese and Latin American and Caribbean companies may "progredir juntos" bearing many fruits.
There is so much potential for cooperation, even in cutting-edge areas like satellite observation of the Amazon rain forests.
Japan has the capacity to make a unique contribution, in particular, in human capital development.
If Mr. Ayrton Senna, who sadly left us twenty years ago, were alive and here with us today, he would surely nod strongly in agreement at each one of these observations.
The figure of Mr. Senna, a born and bred Paulista, trailblazing the circuit with his Honda engine is still vivid in our memories: Fearless as he tackled corners, Mr. Senna at the Suzuka Circuit grasped the hearts and minds of the Japanese and never let get go.
Mr. Senna thus described his partnership with Honda.
"The people at Honda give it their all in pursuit of an ideal. Their words are their bond, both in technology and in their dealings with one another."
This, he said was, the distinct characteristic of the Japanese and Japanese firms. He continued "Japan and Japanese fans have a special place in my heart".
There is something that distinguishes Japanese companies from many others. It is the particular characteristic whereby shop floors become akin to schools that inculcate the joys of labor.
"Only at Japanese companies was I taught the ethics of what labor was."
I remember that a certain leader from Africa thus spoke to me.
In Brazil people began to call Usiminas, a joint steel-manufacturing enterprise between Japan and Brazil, the "Usiminas School".
Ishibras, a joint shipbuilding venture was also termed the "Ishibras School" for its way of harnessing talent.
When Japanese companies become deeply engrained members of the Latin American and Caribbean economy, we shall witness a panorama which was so eloquently pronounced by the renowned poet of Chile, Ms. Gabriela Mistral.
"Were there neither rose bushes to plant, nor labor to be endeavored... How sad then, would the world be…"
That labor could bring joy, was, I believe, the message that the great poet wished to convey. This is exactly what Japanese companies bring with them.
Japanese companies, which have now regained their vigor, have their eyes fixed intently as ever, on Latin America and the Caribbean.
According to the latest data, Latin America and the Caribbean is the region where, more than any other, Japanese companies have chosen to enter.
Therefore, progredir juntos――
Count on Japanese companies as your partners. Let us progress together.
3. Liderar Juntos (lead together)
What and how shall we lead together?
This phrase begs reckoning that Latin American and the Caribbean countries have, throughout history, opened new frontiers for Japan.
Amongst all our Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA), those from Mexico, Chile and Peru are some of the most pioneering and successful. Building on these results, we are taking part in the TPP negotiations, which includes the three countries I have just mentioned.
Furthermore, we are currently negotiating an EPA with Colombia. Upon its conclusion, Japan will have in place a network of EPAs with all members of the Pacific Alliance.
Let us take a look back at history.
It was the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean which, ahead of others, signed treaties on equal terms with Japan as the country was struggling toward modernization. It was the same Latin American and Caribbean countries that overwhelmingly supported us as we entered the United Nations after the war.
Friends of Latin America and the Caribbean, as Japan seeks to widen its diplomatic horizons, you are the partners we look to count on.
There is a commonality between us; of values, of visions.
There is the cohesion in our unwavering pursuit of peace, our respect for liberty, the honoring of human rights, and the upholding of democracy and the rule of law.
When Japan and Latin America and the Caribbean come together to make the world a better place, our foothold is reinforced by the values and visions we share.
Remember the Tlatelolco Treaty. It was the first treaty of its kind to create a nuclear free zone. And everyone knows that the Rio Summit led to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Japan and Brazil are organizing the "Informal Meetings on Further Actions against Climate Change" so that we may engage in dialogue propitious to combating climate change across boundaries of developing and developed countries.
These are exceptional and real examples of liderar juntos, of countries that are confronting international challenges hand-in-hand to lead international society in a positive direction.
I am convinced that Japan and Brazil, Japan and Latin America and the Caribbean, possess paramount capacities to meet the challenges that confront our planet.
From Rio Grande to Rio de la Plata, your respect for liberty, human rights, democracy and the rule of law have been unwavering, through numerous tribulations.
We feel secure in the values we share. Hence it must be, liderar juntos.
Therefore, with liderar juntos as our focus, we will take advantage of every opportunity to engage in dialogue, in your region and elsewhere, with the leaders of Latin America and the Caribbean.
I have decided to put in place a new legal arrangement concerning security so that Japan may contribute more proactively to regional and world peace.
The Japanese Self Defense Forces (JSDFs) and their relief efforts in Haiti was greatly appreciated and praised. In Honduras, the JSDFs were surrounded by hails of appreciation as they carried out disaster relief activities after a devastating hurricane.
What our experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean taught us was, to borrow Gabriela Mistral's words once again, "el placer de servir (the pleasure to serve)". This led to self-confidence, out of which was nurtured our resolve to raise what has become Japan's banner, the principle of "proactive contribution to peace".
I call on my friends of Brazil, of Latin America and the Caribbean; let us lead the way in clearing the world, little by little, of grief, dangers and the violations of laws
From disarmament, non-proliferation, to the environment protection, areas where we can "juntos" work hand-in-hand have grown considerably. Let us seize every opportunity, no matter how small, to collaborate, to take the lead, to make this world a better place.
4. Inspirar Juntos (inspire together)
What for? For our children, our grandchildren and the generations to follow. To build and leave them a world that is at peace and prosperous.
Japan has extended to the region Official Developmental Assistance (ODA) exceeding 30 billion dollars. If these were not investments to benefit future generations, then what is?
For example, the reason that Mr. Yutaka Hongo, a Japanese national, was able to labor more than 20 years convinced of the possibility of cultivating soy beans in the Cerrado region was because he saw the future in the youths of Brazil. And just as he had envisioned, Brazil is now the world's leading producer of soy beans.
The Cerrado development project converted what was then a vast sterile landscape into a rich granary. They had succeeded in harvesting soy beans, a temperate climate produce, in a tropical region. Where there was once nothing, a massive value chain down-stream such as the food processing industry, was created.
It was literally an achievement that will go down in history, made possible by cooperation between Japan and Brazil. Furthermore, Japanese experts such as Mr. Hongo and their Brazilian counterparts with accrued experiences from the project are now working side-by-side to cultivate soy beans in Africa with similar terrains. It is the reproduction of a dream realized, a true inspirar juntos.
Chile currently boasts the world's largest export volume of salmon. But just 40 years ago, no one had dreamed it possible.
Under such circumstances, there was a Japanese expert who endured more than 15 years in the extreme colds of the Chilean fiords in search of this dream. There was another who had deceased pursuing the same cause. They are Mr.Ariaki Nagasawa and Mr. Yoshikazu Shiraishi who, barely in his fifties, passed away in Santiago in 1972.
Mr. Shiraishi went deep into the country, 2000 kilometers from Santiago, scrambling to establish a facility for the incubation of salmon eggs.
Both Mr. Nagasawa and Mr. Shiraishi pursued youthful dreams confident in the great potential of Latin America and the Caribbean.
If we are to carry on the will of these pioneers, the mindset that is called for is inspirar juntos. Let us unite our hearts with bonds of inspiration.
Between Japan and Latin America and the Caribbean lies a history of friendship spanning a period of more than 400 years. Let us breathe new life into it, mindful of the impact that personal exchanges has on the younger generation.
To deepen our bonds with the young leaders of tomorrow of Latin America and the Caribbean, we will reinforce our exchange programs.
Thus, this fiscal year, we've decided to offer various exchange programs to more than 1000 young leaders and Japanese descendants in Latin America and the Caribbean.
From this onwards, we look to expand our projects that promote exchanges between the next generations.
I referred to Japanese descendants.
Spanning more than six generations, Japanese descendants have won the faith of Latin America and the Caribbean on which lies the trust that they extend to Japan. I can only straighten myself when I imagine the hardships that Japanese descendants have had to overcome.
With this in mind, we will drastically increase the number of participants for programs such as the "training program for future leaders of Japanese descent" and the "Japanese descendant community volunteer program".
With the help of Japanese descendants, we have decided to invest further in Japanese language education. We will support educators of the Japanese language and through the use of Information Technology, we will raise the efficiency of Japanese language education.
5. What the "Shinkai 6500" teaches us.
Certain events speak loud and clear of the blessings we may reap from working together under the spirit of juntos.
Between April and May of 2013, submerged deep into the depths of the blue sea off the coast of Brazil was "Shinkai 6500".
"Shinkai 6500", is a manned submersible that can reach ocean depths of up to 6500 meters. The journey which sought unknown creatures and explored deep sea trenches was a joint project which brought together the wisdom, perseverance, and efforts of scientists from Japan and Brazil.
Looking back, one of the leaders of the investigation off the coast of Brazil said the following.
"That a true friendship was born between Japanese and Brazilian scientists coming from different cultures, was the most memorable aspect of the investigation"
These Japanese scientists found the joys of collaborating "juntos" even to exceed their scientific discoveries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me introduce to you an honorable crew member of the Shinkai 6500. Professor Vivian Pellizari a marine biologist at the University of Sao Paolo. Please give a round of applause for Professor Pellizari.
Professor Pellizari, you mentioned that diving into the depth of the sea, off the coast of your homeland was a long awaited dream of 15 years. You described the waters of the sea 4000 meters below as being so blue and ever transparent.
That a layer of granite was found was big news also in Japan, as many speculated that it could be a sign of the continent Atlantis.
Perhaps it was the Atlantis. Perhaps it was not. Either way, it is the fact that Professor Pellizari and her colleagues, alongside Japanese scientists and experts, collaborated under the spirit of "juntos" that I find so admirable. Thank you Professor Pellizari, please take your seat.
6. A relay of dreams, from Rio de Janeiro to Tokyo.
Between Japanese and Brazilians there is a distinct "juntos" that we share.
Come 2016 for you and four years thereafter for us, there will be the Olympiads, a festival of youthful vigor.
Tokyo will carry on the torch of dreams from Rio de Janeiro. The dreams and aspirations of the youths of Brazil and Latin America and the Caribbean will be relayed directly to Tokyo.
That is six years from now, in 2020.
With this goal in sight, we will urge our youths from Japan to go out into the world, to interact with the world. Our program, "Sport for tomorrow" seeks to spread the spirit of sports. Of all the places in the world, Latin America and the Caribbean is where the program should be implemented most vigorously.
"No matter how far it may seem," sang Cecilia Meireles in a beautiful verse,
"You shall remain, in my memory, in my mind, and my hope".
We know that Ayrton Senna and the founder of Honda, Soichiro Honda, nurtured just such a bond. Distance could not keep them apart.
Hence I say,
Let us progress together.
Let us work side-by-side to make this world a better place.
Let us promote personal exchanges, so that we may cultivate a deep empathy, soul to soul, as the foundation for all.
These are our three guiding principles
The guiding principles that we hope will bring infinite depth to the cooperation between Japan and Latin America and the Caribbean, Juntos!!
Muito obrigado (Thank you)