Very positive dynamics in economic relations since the visit of Mr. Mitsotakis to Tokyo
With a brilliant reception at the Athens Concert Hall, the Japanese ambassador to Greece Nakayama Yasunori and the Japanese embassy celebrated the Birthday of Emperor Naruhito of Japan, a national celebration in the land of the Rising Sun, on Thursday evening, in the presence of Deputy Foreign Minister Costas Fragogiannis. From early Thursday afternoon, Nakayama Yasunori and his wife Nakayama Chizuko welcomed their official guests to the Concert Hall to celebrate the Emperor’s Birthday with them.
In his greeting, the Japanese ambassador praised the excellent level of relations between Japan and Greece and their “very positive dynamics”, while expressing his commitment that he is determined to make the maximum possible effort for their further promotion. Highlighting the current level of bilateral relations, he expressed the belief that at no time in the history of the two countries, since 1899, have such rapid developments been recorded as in the last 12 months of 2022, starting with the meeting of Foreign Ministers Nikos Dendias and Yoshimasa Hayashi in April in Tokyo. “The two ministers, recognizing that both countries share fundamental values such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law, including the free and open maritime order, discussed not only bilateral relations but also various international issues, including the situation in Ukraine”.
The Mitsotakis visit
Nakayama Yasunori made a special reference to the results of the visit of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Japan at the end of January, stressing that it contributed significantly to the strengthening of bilateral relations, but also to their upgrading to strategic cooperation. “It was the first visit of a Greek prime minister to Japan after 17 years, which, I believe, contributed significantly to the strengthening of relations between Japan and Greece. During their meeting, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis issued a joint communique, in which, among other things, the bilateral relationship is upgraded to “strategic cooperation”.
He also pointed out that during his stay in Japan, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his wife met with Crown Prince Fumihito Akishino of Japan and Kiko Princess Akishino, which lasted longer than planned and was very cordial and warm.
Referring to the front of bilateral economic relations, he spoke about the wide-ranging meetings of Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the Greek delegation with executives of Japanese business groups of the Keidanren (Federation of Economic Organizations of Japan) and the Japanese External Trade Organization JETRO. “They were very fruitful in increasing the visibility of bilateral business opportunities,” the Japanese ambassador to Greece emphasized. In addition, he made special mention of the Greek prime minister’s “very substantial meetings” with representatives of the Japanese financial sector, including those of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.
Είναι αλήθεια! Αυτά τα αναψυκτικά… μεγαλώνουν τους όρχεις
Σε αυτές τις 6 περιοχές θα βρέχει την Καθαρά Δευτέρα
In the wake of Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ visit and contacts in Japan, he explained that in this very positive dynamic created in bilateral economic relations it is his duty to work hard, together with his Greek partners, to achieve tangible progress, whether it is investment or trade.
The business visit
He further highlighted the importance of the much-anticipated Japanese business visit to Greece, which took place in October last year and was organized by Keidanren, the Japanese Federation of Economic Organizations. “It was Keidanren’s first visit in the last 20 years and the members of the business delegation left Greece with a very positive impression of the performance of the Greek economy and business opportunities in that country.”
Referring more broadly to the bilateral relations of Greek-Japanese relations, the ambassador pointed out that Japan and Greece will celebrate 125 years of their diplomatic relations in 2024, as the “Year of Culture and Tourism”. In this context, he said he looks forward to working closely with his Greek counterparts to organize a multitude of events, both in Greece and Japan to celebrate this special year.
The story of the “Tokei Maru” in the destruction of Smyrna
He made a special mention of the special event organized by the Japanese embassy in September to commemorate the heroic rescue carried out by the Japanese merchant ship “Tokei Maru” in Izmir 100 years ago. “During the great fire in Smyrna in September 1922, the Japanese ship is said to have dumped its cargo in order to accommodate more than 800 Greek refugees,” he said and pledged to make this story widely known in both Greece and Japan.
The “Posidonia” exhibition
It also demonstrated the global importance of the “Posidonia” maritime exhibition. “In June, we participated in Posidonia 2022, the most important event in the world of shipping companies. It served as an excellent opportunity to reaffirm the strong ties based on the rich maritime history between Japan and Greece, which spans more than 70 years,” he said and expressed his belief that the maritime sector remains and will remain firmly as the central pillar of bilateral economic relations.
Afterwards, Deputy Foreign Minister Costas Fragogiannis addressed a greeting on behalf of the Greek government, expressing his congratulations and wishes for the Emperor’s birthday. Speaking about bilateral relations, he referred to the long-term ties between the two countries and emphasized that their relations are based on common values. K. Fragogiannis emphasized the results of the contacts during the Prime Minister’s recent visit to Japan, in which he also participated. In a similar spirit, he expressed Greece’s willingness to further strengthen bilateral relations in all areas provided for in the joint statement, signed by the two prime ministers in Tokyo.
The reception was attended by figures from the political, diplomatic, economic, cultural, sports, academic and journalistic worlds, as well as members of Japan-related organizations.
It is noted that last night was the first reception hosted by Nakayama Yasunori in Athens for the Emperor’s Birthday since he was appointed ambassador of Japan to Greece in January 2021.