Japan-Colombia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
August 16, 2018
On August 16, commencing at 8:30 a.m. (local time; 10:30 p.m. on the same day, Japan time) for approximately 70 minutes, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, who is visiting the Republic of Colombia, held a foreign ministers’ meeting over breakfast with H.E. Mr. Carlos Holmes Trujillo, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
1. At the beginning, Minister Trujillo sincerely welcomed Minister Kono to Colombia, along with explaining the policies of the new administration. Minister Trujillo explained that he intends to strive to strengthen the bilateral relationship by making use of his own deep ties with Japan thus far.
Minister Kono congratulated Minister Trujillo on his appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and stated that he hopes to work together to strengthen the bilateral relationship in cooperation with Minister Trujillo, who has deep ties with Japan via his six years of experience as a resident of Japan. Furthermore, Minister Kono explained that Colombia is an important partner that shares fundamental values with Japan such as freedom, democracy, the rule of law and free trade, and he hopes to utilize the 110th anniversary of the establishment of Japan-Colombia diplomatic relations this year to further deepen exchanges between the two countries.
2. Minister Kono welcomed that Colombia is pursuing domestic reforms in order to satisfy international standards and became a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) this year, along with expressing expectation that Japan will build a stronger economic relationship with Colombia, which continues to enjoy robust economic growth. Additionally, the two foreign ministers touched on issues such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Japan-Colombia Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and discussed promoting economic cooperation between the two countries. Furthermore, Minister Trujillo explained that Colombia hopes to learn from Japan’s post-war economic growth, and intends to make efforts to strengthen its economic relationship with Japan.
3. Additionally, Minister Kono explained that Japan has consistently supported Colombia’s peace process thus far, and will support it going forward also.
4. In addition to discussing the bilateral relationship, the two ministers also held a meaningful exchange of views regarding cooperating in the international arena, including United Nations Security Council reform and nuclear disarmament, the North Korea situation, and regional affairs such as the situation in Venezuela, including assistance for displaced people.