Japan Panama Summit Meeting

October 22, 2012
  • (Photo)Japan Panama Summit Meeting 1
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
  • (Photo)Japan
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
  • (Photo)Japan Panama Summit Meeting 3
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

On Monday, October 22, Mr. Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit meeting with H.E. Mr. Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, President of the Republic of Panama, who was visiting Japan on a working visit, from 5:00 pm for approximately 30 minutes at the Prime Minister’s residence. Subsequently, Prime Minister Noda hosted a dinner and invited President Martinelli. An overview of the meeting is as follows (attendants on the Japanese side included Mr. Hirokazu Shiba, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Shuji Kira, Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Masato Kitera, Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary. Attendants on the Panamanian side included H.E. Rómulo Roux, Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Roberto Roy, Minister for Canal Affairs and Secretary of the Panama City Metro, and H.E. Mr. Roberto Linares, Administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority):


(1) Prime Minister Noda welcomed President Martinelli and expressed his gratitude for the support from the Government and people of Panama in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. He emphasized the fact that Japan is the fourth highest user of the Panama Canal and that Japan has been maintaining a close relationship with Panama in maritime traffic and trade. Prime Minister Noda stated that he would like to further deepen the relationship between the two countries on the occasion of President Martinelli’s visit to Japan, taking advantage of the Memorandum on Political Consultations between Japan and Panama which was signed at the Japan-Panama Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held on the same day.

(2) In response, President Martinelli expressed his gratitude for the invitation by the Japanese Government and stated that he would like to further develop economic and diplomatic relations between the two countries over the course of his visit.

2.Bilateral relations

(1) Economic cooperation

 i) Prime Minister Noda stated that both the Government and private enterprises of Japan are interested in the Panamanian infrastructure and mineral resources development that Mr. Martinelli and his administration are promoting. In light of this, Prime Minister Noda stated that Japanese enterprises are currently conducting studies on the project for construction of Line-3 of the Panama Metro, an urban public transportation plan in Panama, and expressed his hope that Japan’s advanced monorail technology would be adpoted in the project.

 ii) In response, President Martinelli stated that he had high expectation on the participation of Japanese enterprises in the above-mentioned project as well as Japan’s advanced monorail technology.

(2) Maritime issues

i) Prime Minister Noda stated that it was important to promote dialogue between the Japanese shipping industry and the Panama Canal Authority ahead of the expansion of the Panama Canal, and also stated that he would like to further strengthen bilateral relations in the field of maritime affairs.

ii) In response, President Martinelli stressed the importance of having the Japanese shipping industry participating in the dialogue with Panama and stated that Japan would become one of the countries that would benefit most from the expansion of the Canal, indicating that it is a very important project for both the global economy and the Japanese economy. Moreover, President Martinelli pointed out Panama’s high economic growth in recent years and Panama’s role as a gateway for Japan in the development of business in Latin America.

3.Regional affairs and cooperation in international fora

Both leaders exchanged opinions on cooperation in international fora including over issues such as the reform of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games and the Pacific Alliance. In addition, President Martinelli expressed support for Japan’s efforts to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Furthermore, Prime Minister Noda explained Japan’s position concerning Japan-China relations.


Moreover, both leaders held a joint press conference in the Prime Minister’s Office from 5:35 pm and explained the significance and the content of the meeting. In the dinner held thereafter, both sides had a frank exchange of opinions on the strengthening of bilateral economic relations, while also touching upon a variety of topics such as baseball, boxing and the football World Cup qualifiers in a friendly atmosphere.

    • (*The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)

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