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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Iceland and Japan have much in common

Kishida og Gunnar Bragi

Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson met with his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, in Tokyo, during his Japan visit 10- 13 November. The ministers discussed the successful relations of the two countries, trade, increased cooperation between Iceland and Japan on Arctic issues and regional international issues.

Minister Sveinsson emphasized cooperation between the countries, focusing on what they have in common. He welcomed steps that Japan had taken recently in concluding free trade agreements and encouraged Japan to also consider opening for negotiations with the EFTA countries He also emphasised the need for an air service agreement in order to encourage growth in tourism.

Iceland and Japan celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2016, and on that occasion Minister Sveinsson invited his counterpart to visit Iceland.

Following their meeting, the ministers gave a joint statement on cooperation; including on Arctic issues, culture and examining further cooperation possibilities in the energy sector with particular emphasis on geothermal. Iceland and Japan will also seek to further strengthen trade and examine feasibility of an agreement on working holiday.

Earlier in the day the Minister visited the Japanese parliament and met with members of the Friendship association of Iceland and Japan in Parliament, chaired by Shinako Tsuchiya.

During his visit the Minister also addressed a conference held by the Iceland Japan Chamber of Commerce, dedicated to innovation and investment in Japan and Iceland and visited the headquarters of the UN Universities in Tokyo, as Iceland now hosts four UN Universities on land restoration, geothermal energy, fisheries and gender.  

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