Japan, Spain agree to strengthen cooperation in renewable energy

Source:  Global Post


Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy agreed Wednesday to strengthen cooperation in areas requiring cutting-edge technology, such as renewable energy and medical services, in a bid to spur growth in both economies.

At a meeting in Madrid, they also agreed to energize people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, mainly among young people, according to Kishida.

“We hope to make stronger the momentum for Japan-Spain cooperation,” he told reporters after the meeting.

The talks came a day after Kishida and his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo vowed to work together in helping firms from their respective countries expand into the vast Spanish-speaking market in Latin America.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Kishida and Garcia-Margallo agreed to seek an early conclusion of current negotiations for a free trade pact between Japan and the European Union, Japanese officials said.

With regard to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo late last month that angered Japan’s Asian neighbors, Kishida stressed that through the visit, Abe expressed his “condolences” for all the war dead and vowed “never to wage a war,” according to the officials.

The press representative of Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s top representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said in a statement after the visit that Abe’s action is “not conducive to lowering tensions in the region or to improving relations with Japan’s neighbors,” especially China and South Korea.

In the same talks, Kishida also explained to Garcia-Margallo the government’s security policy, including the recently adopted national security strategy, noting that ties with Europe and Spain are important in pursuing the policy, according to the officials.

The Spanish foreign minister responded that he understood Japan’s undertakings, they added.

Kishida visited Spain for two days from Tuesday ahead of his visit to France, where he and his defense colleague Itsunori Onodera are to meet with their French counterparts for the first so-called “two-plus-two” security talks between Tokyo and Paris on Thursday.