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Abe, Ratas meet to talk about economic relations, treaties, North Korea

Prime Minister Shinzō Abe met with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) on Friday evening. Their meeting focused on bilateral economic relations, the double taxation treaty between the two countries, and the global security situation.

According to Ratas, Estonia like other countries is closely following developments in North Korea regarding the country's nuclear and missile programs.

"Concerning North Korea's nuclear and missile tests we can't allow ourselves to be slightly worried bystanders, but we need to stand up for the UN as well as the European Union to work towards sanctions against North Korea," Ratas said.

"Prime Minister Ratas and I agree that the nuclear armament of North Korea must be avoided. We need to increase pressure in the matter, and it is important to also get back all the people that North Korea has kidnapped," Abe said.

Estonia is one of just two EU member states that don't have diplomatic relations with North Korea.

Ratas: Abe's visit backs foreign investment in Estonia

According to Prime Minister Ratas, the visit of the Japanese head of government supports the growth of foreign investment in Estonia. "The double taxation treaty between Estonia and Japan signed in August is about to enter into effect. In addition to it, we are working on an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation, a working holiday agreement, and several others," Ratas said.

He also added that Estonia and Japan would be working together more closely in the area of cyberdefense and exchange their experiences in the digital field.

Ratas also sees Estonia as an open and trustworthy business environment where Japanese companies can develop digital solutions, driverless vehicles, and artificial intelligence. Several Estonian companies had entered successful partnerships with Japanese businesses.

Estonia also has some 800 Japanese e-residents, Prime Minister Abe being one of them. Though his current visit is his first to Estonia, he became an e-resident already three years ago.

Abe is the first Japanese head of government to visit Estonia. Previously Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited the country in 2007, and several members of Japan's government have been here on working visits.

The prime minister will continue his visit of Europe in Latvia and Lithuania, and later move on to Bulgaria, Serbia, and Romania as well.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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