Japan-Switzerland Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Working Dinner
On April 18, commencing at 7:05 p.m., Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a meeting and working dinner with H.E. Mr. Ignazio Cassis, President and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation, who is visiting Japan, for approximately 130 minutes. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
At the outset, Minister Hayashi looked forward to having meaningful discussions with Switzerland, an important partner sharing fundamental values, regarding the situation in Ukraine as well as further strengthening the bilateral relationship, enhancing engagement in the Indo-Pacific, and deepening cooperation in the international arena. The two ministers then discussed regional issues and cooperation in the international arena.
- Bilateral Relations
- (1) Minister Hayashi welcomed that inter-company cooperation made progress in the creation of smart grids, finance digital transformation, and decarbonization, and that the signing of the Protocol Amending the Tax Convention between Japan and Switzerland established a foundation for further promoting investment and economic exchanges between the two countries. In addition, Minister Hayashi welcomed that the opening of the Swiss Consulate in Osaka created a new base for strengthening business and academic research cooperation between the two countries in the Kansai region.
- (2) President and Foreign Minister Cassis expressed the intention to continue deepening bilateral cooperation at a variety of levels, ahead of the 160th anniversary of their diplomatic relations in 2024, and to appeal Swiss technologies at Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan.
- (3) The two ministers shared the view on coordinating to hold the fifth Joint Committee Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation based on the COVID-19 situation. The meeting will be held to strengthen cooperation between Japan and Switzerland, both countries that aim to become leaders in science, technology, and innovation.
- (4) In light of Switzerland’s application of the EU import restrictions on Japanese food products, Minister Hayashi sought Switzerland’s cooperation in promoting understanding in Europe toward the lifting of the restrictions.
- Regional Situation
- (1) The two ministers exchanged views regarding regional issues. They shared the view that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is a clear violation of international law and a serious situation that undermines the very foundation of the entire international order, including Asia, and confirmed their intention to continue the sanctions against Russia in coordination with the international community.
- (2) The two ministers concurred on strongly opposing unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force, and confirmed to continue working together to deal with North Korea, including its launch of an ICBM-class ballistic missile on March 24, the nuclear issue, and the abductions issue.
- Cooperation in the International Arena
The two ministers concurred on deepening cooperation in the United Nations, including on Security Council reform, taking into account that both Japan and Switzerland are candidates for the June 2022 elections for non-permanent membership in the Security Council and, if elected, would serve as non-permanent members for a two-year term starting in January 2023.