The State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ildefonso Castro, is on a visit to Japan, where he has held meetings with the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shinsuke Sugiyama; with the Deputy Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Takeo Akiba; with the Secretary to the Prime Minister, Hiroshi Suzuki; and with the members of the Japan-Spain Parliamentary Friendship League. He also held a meeting with representatives of the main Japanese think tanks on international relations.
This meeting is framed within the context of stepping up bilateral relations which led to the signing, in October 2013, of the Association for Peace, Development and Innovation, by the President of the Government, Mariano Rajoy, and the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.
Vice-Minister Sugiyama congratulated Spain on its economic growth and the level of political stability achieved.
At a bilateral level, they highlighted the upcoming State visit by Their Majesties the King and Queen to Japan from 4 to 7 April and the celebration, in 2018, of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Both of these events will be used to further enhance relations of friendship and cooperation. They also welcomed the state of bilateral relations at economic, trade, tourism and cultural levels, among others, and analysed the possibilities of development in other fields, such as security and defence.
At an international level, they closely addressed the situation of the European Union, with a particular focus on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom and the development of the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership, as well as the regional situation in Asia, including China, and security on the Korean Peninsula.
State Secretary Ildefonso Castro reaffirmed the growing priority of the Asia-Pacific region in Spanish foreign policy.
-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-