13-14 January, 2018 – Visit of Japan’s Prime Minister to Lithuania

RESTREINT UE/EU RESTRICTED FM VIL COREU TO ALL COREU NORMAL CFSP/VIL/0002/18 300118 1408Z ACRONYM COASI SUBJECT COASI – – Visit of Japan’s Prime Minister to Lithuania, 13-14 January 2018 TEXT
SUBJECT COASI – – Visit of Japan’s Prime Minister to Lithuania, 13-14 January 2018 TEXT

On 13-14 January, 2018 Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe visited the Republic of Lithuania: had meetings with President Dalia Grybauskaite and Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, attended a business forum, layed wreaths at the National Memorial to the Victims of the Fight for Independence in Vilnius and visited the Sugihara House in Kaunas.

PM Abe noted that North Korea had become a real threat to Europe as well, given that the North Korean missiles were capable of reaching Vilnius. Even though contacts between North Korea and South Korea have been renewed on 1 January 2018, according PM Abe, North Korea will continue to develop the weapons of mass destruction as it has done before.

Japan’s PM insisted that the international community needed to:

i) maximize pressure on North Korea;

ii) urge North Korea to change their policies;

iii) make sure North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons and technologies.

He asked for a continuous debate among the European partners and on cutting any trade with North Korea as well as enhancing pressure on North Korea to implement the UN Security Council resolutions regarding human rights violations in North Korea and cases of abduction.

The Lithuanian leaders assured PM Abe that Lithuania upholds Japan’s concern about the actions of North Korea as ballistic missile launches and testing of nuclear weapons are an outrageous continuous violation of multiple UN SC resolutions. Lithuanian leaders expressed support to Japan’s stance on the need to pressure North Korea to fully implement UN SC resolutions and to refrain from further threats and actions, which increase tension in the region and undermine peace. Leaders of both countries voiced the same position on human rights violations in North Korea.

Both countries noted Russia as a complicated neighbour.

Additionally PM Abe dedicated attention to the activities of China in the Baltic sea region and pointed out that political and economic cooperation between China and Japan was intensifying, although the overall process was affected by some assertive Chinese actions, such as a recent appearance of Chinese submarines close to Senkaku islands.

With regard to the global role of the United States, PM Abe underlined the importance of the alliance with US for Japan’s security and the need to support US President Donald Trump.
PM Abe noted that the EU-Japan cooperation on security issues was essential and expressed hope that the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement would provide an additional impulse to the bilateral trade exchange.

In Kaunas, PM Abe visited the former consulate of Japan, which now houses a memorial to the late Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who is praised for rescuing 6,000 European Jews from the Holocaust by issuing them Japanese transit visas in the turmoil of the Second World War. PM Abe noted that he was very proud of Sugihara as a Japanese and called the actions of the late diplomat “courageous and humanitarian”.

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