On January 22 this year, during his working visit to Japan, Ivars Godmanis, Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia, met his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso, Hirofumi Nakasone, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, and Toshihiro Nikai, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, as well as representatives of several Japanese business associations – the Japanese Tourism Association JTB and the Council of Overseas Cooperation. I.Godmanis was interviewed by several international mass media, including news agencies Reuters and Kyodo News, and delivered a speech at the International Journalist Club on the current economic situation in Latvia.
During a discussion with the Japanese Prime Minister, both officials acknowledged current cooperation of Latvia and Japan which continues to grow dynamically. I.Godmanis emphasised Latvia’s interest in developing exports of wood, pharmaceutical and food products to Japan, and urged the Japanese side to exploit Latvia’s transport infrastructure for deliveries of Japanese goods to the European Union, Russia and CIS countries. The Latvian Prime Minister also welcomed more active tourism cooperation between both countries. The officials also exchanged views concerning the current situation in the global economy. Special attention was paid to Japan’s experience in overcoming their financial and economic crisis in 1995. I.Godmanis invited T.Asho to visit Latvia.
During the meeting with Japanese Minister of Economy T.Nikai the sides discussed promotion of economic cooperation in such areas as wood processing, food products, pharmacy and logistics. T.Nikai emphasised that both countries still possess unexploited potential for cooperation and offered to arrange a visit of mangers of the leading Japanese companies to Latvia and a visit of experts of various Japanese business areas and representatives of the Ministry of Economy of Japan to Latvia.
I.Godmanis adn H.Nakasoni discussed the current foreign policy issues, cooperation with the neighbouring countries, the climate change and cooperation of Latvia and Japan in Afghanistan. Both sides acknowledged the Assistance Agreement on the implementation of project of drinking water supplies to three regions of Afghanistan’s Faryab Province and shared the view that cooperation under this project should be continued. I. Godmanis invited H. Nakasoni to visit Latvia but the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs acknowledged parliamentary cooperation of Latvia and Japan.
When meeting representatives of the Japanese tourism association JTB, the sides discussed tourism cooperation opportunities and reached an agreement on three charter flights to Rīga already this year to bring Japanese tourists to Latvia. This will be the first time such flights are organised.
Further in his visit I. Godmanis will meet Akihito, His majesty the Emperor of Japan, and the management of large-enterprise association Nippon Keidanren.
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