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Montevideo, June 2nd 2023 - 02:23 UTC



Japan takes a turn toward the Americas in 2023

Wednesday, January 4th 2023 - 21:15 UTC
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A key US ally, Japan is also a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council A key US ally, Japan is also a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is to meet with US President Joseph Biden on Jan. 13 at the White House, while Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi has left on a South American tour seeking to strengthen ties with Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, and Argentina.

Kishida and Biden will discuss the situations in North Korea and Ukraine, in addition to the increasing tensions between China and Taiwan, as well as a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” according to White House sources.

The two leaders will review “a range of regional and global issues including the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs, Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine, and maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” the White House said.

Meanwhile, Tokyo's top diplomat will address the “common challenges” facing Latin America that “must be resolved by the international community.”

The Foreign Minister's journey is to last until Jan. 15. He will then go to New York. It will be his first trip to Latin America since he took office in November 2021.

In a “very important year for Japanese diplomacy” marked by the rotating presidency of the G7 and participation in the UN Security Council, it was “natural” for Hayashi to choose Latin America as the destination for his first official trip in 2023, “given the political and economic potential of the region,” according to Japanese media.

Hayashi stressed that Japan shares with Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, and Argentina fundamental values and principles such as “freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.”

“With Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina we have worked closely as members of the G20, and with Brazil and Ecuador we will work together this year in the UN Security Council,” Hayashi told EFE.

“Mexico has the largest number of Japanese companies in Latin America, and there is also cooperation with Brazil and Argentina, countries with a great wealth of mineral and food resources,” he also explained.

“In order to work together to overcome global challenges, including the food and energy crises currently facing the international community, during this visit we will have frank exchanges of views with our counterparts in other countries and call for strong cooperation,” he went on.

Latin America “has been hard hit by the effects of the fall in the price of natural resources since the mid-2010s, climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and faces political and economic problems, including the resolution of structural problems such as social inequality,” the minister also pointed out.

“The stable development of Latin America is also important for the development of bilateral relations between Japan and Latin American countries. The challenges facing Latin America are something common that must be resolved by the international community as a whole,” he insisted.

“Many Latin American countries have expressed significant condemnation of Russian aggression. The UN vote is encouraging, given that an overwhelming number of countries have said 'No' to Russian aggression, compared to other regions,” Hayashi underlined.

Tags: Japan.

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