Ilves Builds Ties with Japan on First Asia Visit ({{commentsTotal}})

Presdient Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Evelin Ilves met Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko in a trip to the G7 nation today.

Ilves will also meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today, who extended Ilves the invitation for the official visit. Topics include security policy and regional relations between Asia and Europe, cyber cooperation, and economic relations between the two countries. He will also meet senior legislators and cabinet ministers.

Ilves met Thursday with the new Japanese Chamber of Commerce (the Japan Association of the New Economy, or JANE), delivered a lecture at Waseda University in Toyko, where he spoke about shared values and the interests of Estonia and Japan both in the sphere of IT and geopolitics. Ilves spoke to local and foreign media and made a presentation at the National Press Club of Toyko, and visited Microsoft’s headquarters in Japan.

He gave JANE’s founder, Hiroshi Mikitani, a copy of an Estonian ID card with his name on it and a mobile phone ID, as Mikitani’s e-commerce company, Rakuten, is the most influential national carrier that supports the development of e-services.

Estonia’s delegation includes Taavi Kotka, the deputy secretary general for communication and state information systems of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication.

Three members of the parliament also made the trip. Chairman of the Estonian-Japanese parliamentary group, Imre Sooäär, and the deputy chairman of the same group, Sven Sester. Center Party MP Vladimir Velman also went to Japan.

Ilves will return to Estonia on Saturday.