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Last Update : Monday, Nov 28, 2016

JapanGov Weekly

Ministry of Foreign Affairs [Monday, Nov 21, 2016]

Prime Minister Abe’s Visit to the Argentine Republic

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Argentine Republic on November 21st (Monday) and participated in events that took place in Buenos Aires. The overview is as follows.

1. Schedule

・Interactions with Japanese Descendants
・Floral Tribute
・Japan-Argentina Summit Meeting
・Signing Ceremony and Japan-Argentina Joint Press Occasion
・Luncheon hosted by President Macri
・Japan-Argentina Economic Forum

2. Interactions with Japanese Descendants

Prime Minister Abe interacted with approximately 1,000 Japanese descendants living in Argentina and approximately 20 representatives of Japanese descendants in nine other Latin American and Caribbean countries at the Okinawa Center in Buenos Aires. Prime Minister Abe expressed his gratitude to Japanese descendants who have earned trust in the Argentine society, and lauded those representatives of Japanese descendants in Latin America and the Caribbean for working hard to foster cooperation among young generations across borders.

3. Japan-Argentina Summit Meeting

Prime Minister Abe had a summit meeting with President Macri at the Office of the President from 12:30 p.m. on 21st local time (0:30 a.m. on 22nd Japan time) for approximately 50 minutes.

(1) At the beginning, President Macri welcomed Prime Minister Abe’s visit and expressed his expectation towards Japanese companies as he wishes to establish new bilateral relations, centering on trade and investment. The President also mentioned that he wants to develop bilateral relations in the field of tourism, sports, and science and technology.

(2) Prime Minister Abe expressed his appreciation for the invitation of the official visit and stated that he was delighted for being able to visit Argentina as an incumbent Prime Minister of Japan for the first time in 57 years.

Japan and Argentina have enjoyed friendly relations for more than a century, owing partly to the presence of the Japanese descendant community. The two countries are important partners that share fundamental values such as liberty, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. In order to further advance the bilateral relations, the two leaders shared the view on the following points:

Establish a strategic partnership;
Work towards an early conclusion of the negotiation on the bilateral investment treaty and continue making steady progress in the efforts to develop investment and trade and to improve the business environment; and
Advance the dialogue between Japan and MERCOSUR, when Argentina holds the Pro Tempore Presidency of MERCOSUR in the first half of next year.

(3) Prime Minister Abe welcomed the fact that President Macri has been promoting open and free economic policies and has been leading the change in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Prime Minister also noted that Japanese companies’ understanding on and interest towards business opportunities in Argentina, starting with the field of infrastructure development, have been boosted, as demonstrated by the establishment of consultation frameworks with the participation of the business circles since the Summit Meeting in April. To further promote private investment from Japan to Argentina, he announced that he will further advance efforts to support Japanese companies’ activities in Argentina by actively utilizing the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) and by supporting the industrial human resources development, among others.

(4) The two leaders exchanged opinions on a wide range of challenges of the international community.

Prime Minister Abe elaborated on the recent situation in East Asia and stated that the preservation of the freedom of navigation and adherence to the rule of law are essential in order to ensure peace and security of the region and the international community.

Prime Minister Abe referred to the issues regarding North Korea, including the abductions issue, and expressed his concern over the nuclear and missile development. President Macri shared such concern.

The two leaders shared the intention to cooperate towards the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization in 2017 and the G20 Summit in 2018, which will be hosted by Argentina.

4. Signing Ceremony and Japan-Argentina Joint Press Occasion

After the Summit meeting, the following Memoranda of Cooperation were signed and exchanged in the presence of Prime Minister Abe and President Macri:

the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina for the establishment of a reinforced mechanism of political consultations (signed by H.E. Mr. Noriteru Fukushima, Ambassador of Japan to Argentina, and H.E. Ms. Susana Malcorra, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina);
the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the Argentine Investment and Trade Promotion Agency (AITA) to strengthen mutual relations and to establish a cooperation framework with the aim of promoting business (signed by Mr. Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman and CEO of JETRO, and Mr. Juan M. Procaccini, Executive President of AITA); and
the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN) and AITA to exchange information and hold consultations on transportation and urban development projects (signed by Mr. Takuma Hatano, President and CEO of JOIN, and Mr. Juan M. Procaccini, Executive President of AITA).
The two leaders also issued a Joint Statement (English (PDF: / Japanese (PDF: that compiled a wide range of vision to further strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the bilateral context as well as in the international fora.

5. Luncheon hosted by President Macri

Prime Minister Abe participated in the luncheon hosted by President Macri at the Presidential Office. President Macri welcomed Prime Minister Abe’s official visit at this timing when the bilateral relations have reached a new stage. Prime Minister Abe lauded the contribution made by the Japanese descendant community in Argentina and welcomed that the bilateral relations are embarking on a new stage for further deepening, as mutual exchanges at Summit and Ministerial levels expand thanks to President Macri’s strong leadership. Prime Minister Abe also received the “Orden del Libertador San Martin Grado Gran Cruz.”

6. Japan-Argentina Economic Forum

Prime Minister Abe participated in the Japan-Argentina Economic Forum. He stated that the Japan-Argentina economic relations have great potential and that the two countries will make efforts to develop legal frameworks such as a bilateral investment treaty and to improve the business environment of the two countries.

Photograph of the Prime Minister shaking hands with the President of Argentina Photograph of the joint press announcement Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering a speech at the Japan-Argentine Economic Forum Photograph of the press conference

Cabinet Secretariat [Thursday, Nov 24, 2016]

“Beauty of Japan” Comprehensive Project Advisory Panel and Japonisme 2018 Comprehensive Promotion Council

[Provisional Translation]

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held the fourth meeting of the “Beauty of Japan” Comprehensive Project Advisory Panel and the first meeting of the Japonisme 2018 Comprehensive Promotion Council at the Prime Minister's Office

At the meeting, reports were made on the results of an exhibition on Japanese statues of Buddha held in Italy; the background to Japonisme 2018; the concept, title, and dates for Japonisme 2018; and the status of the review of the proposed plans for Japonisme 2018.

The Prime Minister said in his opening address,

“I would like to express my gratitude to everyone on the Panel for attending this meeting despite your busy schedules.

Japan has a culture and arts that it is proud to share with the world. This Panel was established based on the proposal of Chairperson Tsugawa who recommended that Japan share the wonders of its culture and arts with the world as a means of diplomacy. The more I hear from the members of the Panel, the more I feel that Japan’s culture and arts possess the great potential for connecting Japan and the world. This is something I strongly feel and the possibilities excite me greatly.

The year 2018 is fast approaching. The year 2018 represents two milestones, namely the 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration and the 160th anniversary of friendly relations between Japan and France. It is in this year of milestones that we have decided to start our cultural diplomacy, which was born from this Panel.

Therefore, at this year’s Japan-France Summit Meeting in May, I proposed to President Hollande the holding of the largest project of the 21st century for disseminating Japanese culture in Paris, a city renowned for its culture, and he accepted.

This project is called Japonisme 2018. It demonstrates the government’s commitment to heighten Japan’s presence in the world using the power of its culture. It also represents one of the pillars of the Abe Cabinet.

This project will introduce a wide range of Japanese culture, from the traditional performing arts of kabuki and noh theater, bunraku puppet theater, and gagaku court music and dance, to modern theater and art, as well as concerts featuring the dance performance of Hatsune Miku, exhibitions of manga, literature, and anime, and screenings of Japanese film retrospectives. In addition, we are currently working to hold other exhibitions, such as on the Jakuchu or Rinpa schools of painting, which have recently been popular here in Japan, or on the Jomon Period, which is said to represent the origins of Japan’s culture.

In 2020, Tokyo will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The whole world will be closely watching the Tokyo Games, and as we prepare for them, we are committed to giving rise to a 21st century boom in Japonisme and fostering greater interest in our country. The Government of France has invited me to attend Japonisme 2018 and if the circumstances permit, I hope to travel to France to enliven the festivities.

Japan must work as one to ensure the success of this new initiative. Today, I will establish the Japonisme 2018 Comprehensive Promotion Council for Japonisme 2018 so that the public and private sector can work together to make this project both effective and efficient.

As members of the Comprehensive Project Advisory Panel and of the Comprehensive Promotion Council, I would like you all to share your frank opinions during discussions so as to make Japonisme 2018 a success. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.”

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address