Update: Japanese PM Shinzo Abe calls off meeting at Victoria Palace over the governmental crisis in Romania. Japan, visa-free for Romanians, Abe says after meeting president Iohannis

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has cancelled the meeting he was supposed to have at the Government’s office on Tuesday due the mounting political crisis in the Romanian capital. Abe was supposed to meet president Klaus Iohannis and PM Mihai Tudose, but the ruling Social Democrat Party’s decision to strip Tudose of the political support and Tudose’ subsequent resignation made the Japanese premier cancel the meeting at Victoria Palace.

Instead, a deputy director of the PM Abe’s Cabinet attended a meeting with the deputy PM Paul Stanescu at the Government’s office.

The Japanese’s visit to Romania was seen as a historical one, as no head of the Executive in Japan had paid any official visits to our country in the past 100 years.

However, the Japanese premier have met president Iohannis at the Cotroceni Palace on Tuesday afternoon. During a joint press conference,  Japanese PM Abe announced that Romanians would be able to travel to Japan without visas, while the Romanian President stated that relations with Japan will be at the rank of strategic partnership and that the Japanese premier’s visit represents a “historical moment”.

Today, we agreed that we share the same values and strategic goals, we have similar evaluations on security, as well as joint economic interests. In this context, we decided together with Mr. PM Abe to take the necessary steps to boost the Romania-Japan relation to the level of strategic partnership in a not very far away future,” President Iohannis said.

Japanese companies have high interests in Romania

Japanese PM was due to meet Mihai Tudose at 13:15hr, but according to the new official program, deputy PM Paul Stanescu was the one that eventually welcomed the official and economic delegation from Japan, led by Kotaro Nogami, the deputy director of the Japanese PM’s Cabinet, in charge with the economic field.

“We appreciate your presence in Romania. You are already the first Japanese PM-led delegation which is visiting Romania, and this move confirms the mutual will to strengthen the traditional friendly relations between our countries. This visit has a higher significance as it takes place in the year when Romania marks 100 years since the union of all territories inhabited by Romanians into a national unitary state. We are glad to start this anniversary year next to our Japanese friends,” said deputy PM Paul Stanescu.

He underlined that enhancing relations with Japan represents a priority of the Romanian diplomacy.

Developing cooperation with Japan remains a major constant goal of Romania’s foreign policy, regardless of the political formula of the ruling in Bucharest,” Stanescu added.

The Romanian deputy PM also talked about the two investments to be made in Romania with Japanese support, the M6 metro line and the suspended bridge over Danube in Braila.

In his turn, Kotaro Nogami stated that the Japanese companies want to do business in Romania.

“The Japanese companies have high interests in Romania, as your country has a strong automotive industry and has registered the most remarkable economic growth among the European countries in the past years,” Kotaro Nogami said.

Visit to the Village Museum

At the same time, the Japanese premier paid a half-hour visit with his wife to the Villlage Museum in Bucharest.

According to the museum’s director, Paula Popoiu, Abe was impressed with a traditional house originating from Sant, Bistrita-Nasaud county, with the replica of Dragomiresti church from Maramures, but also with the alley with Japanese cherry trees, where prince Akishino and princess Kiko had planted some cherry trees several years ago.

Upon leaving, the Japanese premier has received a big ceramics plate as a gift, originating from Baia Mare, but also a pan-pipe, while his wife received an album about the museum and a book about the Romanian traditional folk costumes.

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