The Japanese government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been pleased to have built on his official trip to Spain a "trustworthy relationship" with the Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, and has described this occasion as an opportunity to promote bilateral relations .
Within the European tour that will take him Wednesday to Paris and then to Brussels, Abe made a short official visit to Spain on Tuesday, which is the first of a head of the Government of that country since Junichiro Koizumi did it in 2003, and coincides with the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Spain.
The Japanese Prime Minister had in Madrid a busy schedule of less than 24 hours in which after being received by King Felipe VI at the Palacio de la Zarzuela, he held a working meeting with the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, at Moncloa.
Sánchez and Abe signed a joint declaration in the Moncloa palace to strengthen the strategic relationship of their countries and explore ways of collaboration in Asia, Latin America and Africa.
This "strategic partnership" will face common challenges and opportunities in political and diplomatic cooperation, security, economy and innovation, as well as exchanges between people through culture, education, sports and tourism.
Both leaders signed, in addition, an annex to the agreement on air services of 1980, and another that eliminates tax double taxation, in addition to dealing with a broad social, economic, commercial and international agenda as business opportunities for Spanish and Japanese companies that opens with the agreement of strategic association and economic association between Japan and the European Union.
"From the point of view of Japan, Spain has a very important role in the future of Europe, both human and economic," Foreign Ministry spokesman Takeshi Osuga told Efe tonight.
"(Prime Minister Shinzo Abe) has managed to build in this visit a trustworthy relationship with (President of the Government, Pedro) Sánchez", he added to underline also that the strategic relationship forged and signed by both is an occasion to develop the ties in many areas.
Osuga stressed that during the meeting Abe conveyed to Sanchez his satisfaction that Sanchez can attend in June next year the summit of leaders of the G20 to be held in Osaka, central Japan, and whose presidency will be held during 2019.
Abe and Sánchez celebrated the progress of tourism experienced by Japan and Spain with a notable increase in reciprocal flows, and that on the Japanese side reaches 400,000 tourists.
Initiatives such as the one of the Iberia airline that will extend its flights between the airports of Madrid and Tokyo from three to five weekly flights per week, promote the success of the tourist flows, said the sources.
Official Japanese sources stressed that Barcelona remains one of the main destinations for Japanese tourists, and declined to say whether the independence process that Catalonia is going through may have damaged the Japanese vision of Spain, both socially and business-like.
Catalonia, which is also one of the main centers of Japanese investment, was not at the table of the meeting between Abe and Sánchez, official sources said.
From Madrid, Abe will continue his trip to Paris on Wednesday to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron, and conclude this European tour in Brussels on Thursday and Friday by attending the biennial summit of the Asia-Europe Cooperation Forum (ASEM).