Photo via Gaming Awards

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe landed in Argentina this morning for Japan’s first state visit in 57 years. Strengthening diplomatic ties between the countries and boosting connections within economic and commercial sectors with a special focus on science, technology and innovation top the agenda.

Fun fact: It was Abe’s grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, the last Japanese Prime Minister who set foot in Argentine soil for a state visit. Talk about international political coincidences, amirite?

In an interview via email with La Nación hours before arriving to the country, Abe said his administration supports President Mauricio Macri’s economic policies and that he trusted Argentina would “continue improving international trust so as to continue boosting both bilateral relations as with the Mercosur trading bloc:

“I would like to emphasize that, in order to strengthen bilateral economic relations, it’s necessary to promote work between the public and private sector for the development of investment, trade and improvement of the business mood in different areas. Japan supports the economic policies Macri is promoting. At the same time, I would like to continue collaborating with Argentina, which will, as of next year, take the temporary presidency of this trading bloc,” Abe wrote.

Abe at the Okinawa center today. Photo via Telam
Abe at the Okinawa center today. Photo via Telam

In the typical language of diplomatic exchanges, the Japanese Prime Minister praised Macri’s determination at the time of ‘facing economic challenges with a strong leadership’:

“I see a promising future for Argentina. There’s a special interest in the country in areas such as infrastructure, agriculture, energy and mining,” added Abe, who also highlighted that Tango is very popular in his country and that Argentina is very well known among Japanese people for being the scenario of animated movie “Marco, from the Apennines to the Andes.”

Abe will visit the Casa Rosada at noon to hold a bilateral meeting, where both heads of state will proceed to sign several agreements of the kind. Among them, stands out a “memorandum of cooperation for the establishment of a reinforced mechanism for political consultations.”

After having lunch with Macri, Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra and Japanese Ambassador to Argentina, Noriteru Fukushima, Abe will make his way to an economic forum organized by the Foreign Ministry, the Argentine agency for investment and the Japanese foreign trade organization. The forum will gather prominent business-people from both countries and aims at promoting trade and Japanese investment in the country.