PM Rõivas stresses Japan's importance to Estonia

Estonian PM Taavi Rõivas met with Japanese PM Shinzō Abe in Tokyo. April 8, 2016. (Tauno Tõhk/Government Office of Estonia)
4/8/2016 9:10 PM
Source: BNS
Category: News

Japan is an important partner in entrepreneurship as well as foreign policy for Estonia, said Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas, who met with his Japanese counterpart Shinzō Abe in Tokyo today.

"We have discovered that Estonia and Japan have a lot in common — we have common values, and we have ambition in everything which concerns entrepreneurship and technology," Rõivas said after the meeting with Abe.

Rõivas thanked the Japanese prime minister for a warm reception and said that the visit has been a very successful one for the entire Estonian delegation. According to the Estonian prime minister, it will serve as a good base for increasing cooperation between the two countries.

“Estonia’s experience shows that digital ID creates a good platform for creating various e-services in the future as well as the soaring development of Japan’s e-state,” said Rõivas.

According to Abe, Estonia is a leading country in the digital world and finds that the two countries should strengthen cooperation in cyber-security, including in preparations leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. The two prime ministers also both saw greater potential in tourism opportunities.

Abe also noted that Japan was successfully moving forward with a bilateral tax agreement between Estonia and Japan meant to help boost trade relations between the two countries.

Speaking on the foreign relations and security situations in Europe and the world as a whole, Rõivas stated that Japan in its current presidency of the G7 — which comprises of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States in addition to Japan — and as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council is an important partner to both Estonia and the EU.

Rõivas and Abe both stressed that countries following international laws and norms is of fundamental importance for both global and regional security, a matter that concerns both Russia’s aggression in Ukraine as well as the nuclear program in North Korea. The two leaders agreed that redrawing sovereign borders by use of military force was unacceptable in the 21st century.

The Japanese prime minister asked for Estonia’s support on an economic partnership agreement being negotiated between the EU and Japan. Rõivas emphasized that securing this agreement was extremely important both for Estonia as a member state of the EU as well as the Baltic nation's support of Japan’s endeavors, and called for the signing of the free trade pact before the year was out.

On Friday morning, Rõivas also met with members of the Diet, Japan's national parliament, belonging to the Japan-Estonia Friendship Group, which includes a total of 33 members and aims to promote interparliamentary ties between the two countries.

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas is currently on a six-day working visit to Japan, his first since assuming office in March 2014. He is accompanied by Minister of Entrepreneurship Liisa Oviir and a 25-member business delegation representing a total of 24 Estonian companies. He is scheduled to return to Estonia on Sunday.

Editor: Aili Sarapik

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