Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, on a historic visit to Bucharest: Romania represents an important partner for Japan. President Iohannis: We have decided that, in the not too distant future, we will start the overtures to lift bilateral relations to level of strategic partnership

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President Klaus Iohannis stated on Tuesday, at the joint press opportunity in which he took part alongside Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe, that they have decided that the overtures to lift relations between Romania and Japan to the level of strategic partnership would start “in the not too distant future.”

Klaus Iohannis said this is the first high-level visit in 2018, a special year for Romania – the Centennial of the Great Union –, pointing out that the visit is also taking place in another special context – the five-year anniversary of the 2013 agreement on the Renewed Partnership between Romania and Japan.

“Today, we agreed we share the same values and strategic objectives, we have similar security assessments in an environment that is so volatile, as well as joint economic interests. In this context, Prime Minister Abe and I decided we should launch the necessary overtures so that, in the not too distant future, we will lift the relationship between Romania and Japan to the Strategic Partnership level,” Klaus Iohannis stated.

He added that he discussed with the Japanese Premier “the economic dimension” of the bilateral partnership, adding that it has a very good outlook and encouraging Japanese investments in Romania and the boosting of trade.

The Romanian Head of State added that they profoundly tackled the constantly growing collaboration between the European Union and Japan, and congratulated the Japanese Prime Minister for the recent completion of the negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreement between the Union and Japan, an agreement that will have a positive effect on the relationship with Romania too.

 

Romania endorses rigorous implementation of international sanctions on North Korea

 

“Likewise, we had a consistent exchange of opinions on our security cooperation, and we analysed the security situation in our regions, with an emphasis on the developments in the Black Sea region and in the North Korean dossier.

“As it is well known, Romania has firmly condemned, each time, the provocative actions of North Korea, and endorses the rigorous implementation of international sanctions imposed through the resolutions of the UN Security Council and the decisions taken at the level of the EU. Romania has repeatedly called on North Korea to abstain from further provocations. We hope that the focused efforts of the international community, of all those involved, will lead to engagement in a credible dialogue that will lead to a durable solving of this complex file,” Iohannis stated at Cotroceni Presidential Palace in the joint statement held with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

 

Abe: Romania represents an important partner for Japan

 

Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe stated on Tuesday, at the Cotroceni Palace, that he and President Klaus Iohannis jointly agree that North Korea’s possession of nuclear arms cannot be accepted, having talked about the importance of maintaining international security and law.

“Today, together with President Iohannis, we agreed we will have close cooperation to maintain and consolidate the rule of law at international level. Likewise, we discussed cooperation in various fields, including security. It is extremely important that President Iohannis and I have the joint conviction that we cannot accept North Korea’s possession of nuclear arms and pressure on this country must be intensified. Likewise, we were also able to confirm our joint vision in what concerns the importance of immediately solving the issue of kidnappings of citizens,” Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe stated.

He added that Romania represents an important partner for Japan, both countries relying on common principles.

“I’m happy to visit Romania during this year of the Centennial of the Great Union. Romania has a strategic geographical position in Europe and is a crucial partner for Japan, our countries having common values and principles, such as freedom, democracy, human rights, rule of law,” Abe added.

The Japanese Premier – who last Friday started a tournament in Central and Eastern Europe, which includes visits to Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania – was received at the Cotroceni Palace on Tuesday afternoon. Closed-format talks and talks within the plenum of the delegations took place. On their conclusion, the two officials took part in a joint press opportunity.

The Japanese Premier had scheduled a meeting with Premier Mihai Tudose too, however, the meeting was cancelled given Tudose’s resignation, and Shinzo Abe went to the Village Museum. Nevertheless, a delegation that accompanied the Japanese Premier to Bucharest went to the Victoria Palace.

 

ForMin Melescanu: Japanese PM’s visit historic; resignation of PM Tudose made impossible a meeting at Gov’t level

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs Teodor Melescanu on Tuesday stated that the visit of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Romania is a historic one, while also mentioning that Prime Minister Mihai Tudose’s resignation made impossible, in terms of protocol, a meeting at government level.

“The Japanese PM’s visit in Romania is a historic one, the single visit of a Japanese Prime Minister in the past 100 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Romania and Japan. This visit was very carefully prepared with its main objective being precisely to identify the best modalities of development of political, economic relations between Romania and Japan. The resignation of PM Tudose made impossible, from a protocol point of view, a meeting at government level, for it is normal that, when it comes to diplomatic talks, the heads of delegations to be of the same level,” explained Melescanu.

He had a meeting with the Japanese delegation during which they discussed economic issues and also a breakfast with the businessmen.

“From a protocol point of view, the level of representation of both sides needs to be observed. I had a discussion with the Japanese delegation and they understood very well what is happening and they even said that such tempestuous changes of governments are also happening in other countries,” said Melescanu.

 

Akie Abe, Japanese Prime Minister’s wife, meets students from the Japanese School and ‘Ion Creanga’ College

 

Akie Abe, the Japanese Prime Minister’s wife, visited the Japanese School in Bucharest on Tuesday, attending an artistic programme prepared by its students and by students who learn Japanese at the ‘Ion Creanga’ College of Bucharest.

“I’m happy to visit this school and to meet the children from the ‘Ion Creanga’ College, who are learning Japanese. It’s so far from Japan, but I was impressed by the fact that there are children who are learning Japanese. I hope these children from the Japanese School and from the ‘Creanga’ College will be a kind of connecting bridge between the two countries in the future,” Akie Abe said.

The children presented the Soran Bushi traditional Japanese dance and played Hyakunin isshu, a Japanese game in which Akie Abe also took part at one point.

The Japanese Prime Minister’s wife donated books. Likewise, she gave each child a souvenir bearing the depiction of Mount Fuji.

Akie Abe was accompanied by Sachiki Ishii, the wife of the Japanese ambassador to Bucharest.

Florica Alexandrescu, principal of the ‘Ion Creanga’ National College, stated for AGERPRES that the students are learning the Japanese language, civilisation, and history, as well as calligraphy and traditional games.

“Japanese language has been a subject matter in our college for 22 years. We started with a 15-student group and now we’ve ended up having eight classes: two per each level, one science class and one philology class. The students admitted to Japanese classes have the highest grade averages, in fact,” she pointed out.

 

PM Abe visits Japanese Garden in Bucharest, accompanied by Mayor Gabriela Firea

 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Japanese Garden in the King Mihai (formerly Herastrau) Park, accompanied by Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea.

“The two officials also talked about the memorandum that the Bucharest City Hall signed with Japan’s Itochu Corporation, for the modernisation of Bucharest’s Centralised Heating System, Gabriela Firea thanking the Premier for the fact that the financing of the investment in the heating system comes from a loan offered by the Japanese Government,” the Bucharest City Hall informs.

According to the source, the memorandum stipulates the analysis of the implementation of Japanese solutions for Bucharest’s existing combined heat and power plants, and for three new plants in north-east Bucharest, an area in which the transport and distribution of hot water is very deficient.

 

Japanese PM  visits Village Museum, showing interest in Orthodox cult

 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and his wife, Akie Abe, on Tuesday visited the National Village Museum “Dimitrie Gusti”, with the Prime Minister showing a lot of interest in the Orthodox cult and paintings on wood and glass and also in the pottery technique.

The Japanese guests, welcomed by the Minister of Culture, Lucian Romascanu, and by the Director of the Village Museum, Paulina Popoiu, visited then the Japanese Cherry Trees Alley, created on the occasion of the visit in 2009 of Their Imperial Excellencies Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, Casa Sant, where they were showed the techniques of making textiles and bead strings, and the Dragomiresti church, in front of which a popular craftsman from Horezu offered a demonstration of his artistry in working with the clay, in which Shinzo Abe also showed to be very interested.

“First of all, he asked many interesting questions about all that means Orthodox cult and about paintings on wood and glass, he was impressed by the pan-pipe song of Miss Narcisa Baleanu, who had this courtesy of playing the pan-pipe in the Dragomiresti Church. Everything happened very fast. The wife was very discreet,” stated Paulina Popoiu, in the end of the visit.

Minister Lucian Romascanu specified that he reiterated Romania’s will to open a representative office of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Tokyo.

“We talked about the museum, about its objectives, nothing special. While exchanging a few words with His Excellency I reiterated our will to open a representative office of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Tokyo and to also have one of Japan in Bucharest. We already had some preliminary talks with Mr. Ambassador and the premises seem to be favourable,” said Romascanu.

In the end of their visit, the Japanese guests, among whom there was also the wife of the Japanese Ambassador to Bucharest, received a platter of clay made in Baia Mare and a pan-pipe, an album of the Village Museum and a brochure with the visited monuments.

 

Akie Abe, utterly impressed with tea ceremony at MNAR

 

The wife of Japan’s Government Prime Minister Akie Abe on Tuesday evening professed being “utterly impressed” with the cultivation, in Romania, of an ancient Japanese tradition such as the tea ceremony and promised that once back to her country she will share this fact with the Japanese youth.

As a Japanese I am utterly impressed to see all these girls dressed in kimonos and who have learnt to celebrate the tea ceremony here, so far away, geographically speaking from my country. Unfortunately these days, in Japan there are not so many young people to learn the Tea Ceremony, however, when I get back I will tell everywhere that in Romania, such a far away country, people learn our culture that we should also be proud of, Akie Abe said at Romania’s National Art Museum (MNAR).

Japan Prime Minister’s wife inaugurated, together with Culture Minister Lucian Romascanu, the Tea Room, as part of the future Oriental Art Gallery of MNAR, stating that she wishes Japanese art oeuvres will soon be on the museum’s walls.

Akie Abe expressed hope that the visit of her husband, Japan’s gov’t Prime Minister, to Romania contribute to the development of the two countries’ bilateral relations.

In his turn, Minister Lucian Romascanu affirmed being “very honoured” by the Japanese guests’ visit to Romania and saluted the accomplishment, through the inauguration of the Tea Room, with the support of private partners, of the first stage of “a successful MNAR project, the first part of the future Oriental Art Gallery.”

“Even if political life tends to be tumultuous in this corner of the world, the places we have seen today – the Village Museum and the National Art Museum – are quiet places where we can find ourselves and we can enjoy the beauties that the Romanian cultural life and not only can grant us,” Romascanu further said.

Akie Abe subsequently participated in a tea ceremony, alongside the wife of Japan’s Ambassador in Bucharest, Sachiko Ishii, with disciples, teachers and masters of Urasenke Japanese School in Bucharest.

 

Euronews: Anyone there? Shinzo Abe picks worst moment to visit Romania

 

Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe’s visit was affected by the political crisis in Bucharest, Euronews informs, noting that the Japanese leader was unable to meet the Romanian Premier, given the latter’s resignation.

“Japan’s Prime Minister travelled 8,700 kilometres to make a historic visit to Romania — only to find his opposite number wasn’t there to welcome him. Shinzo Abe became the first-ever Japanese head of government to make an official trip to Bucharest. But his timing was unfortunate: it came after Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigned on Monday evening because he lost the support of his party,” Euronews writes in an article titled: “Anyone there? Shinzo Abe picks worst moment to visit Romania.”