Foreign Minister at the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

– The murder of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was a brutal attack on open democracy. Shinzo Abe left a strong imprint on Japanese politics and international cooperation during his reign, Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said.

Shinzo Abe was killed during an election campaign event on July 8. At the state funeral at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo on September 27, 6,400 representatives from 190 countries attended. The Foreign Minister represented Norway. US Vice President Kamala Harris, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were among those attending the funeral.

During the visit, Huitfeldt also met with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi. The main topic of the meeting was the political security situation in East Asia and the war in Ukraine. There is a strong community of interests between Norway and Japan in areas such as democracy, human rights, security policy and sustainable development.

The Foreign Minister met his Japanese colleague Hayashi during his visit to Japan. Photo: Guri Solberg, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

– Norway and Japan ensure that international cooperation is based on international law and international obligations. It is an important signal for Russia and many countries in Asia that Japan has introduced sanctions against Russia at the same level as the EU and G7 countries. Japan also provides significant humanitarian aid to Ukraine and neighboring countries, Huitfeldt said.

Japan will become a member of the UN Security Council on January 1, 2023, and Foreign Minister Huitfeldt shared with Foreign Minister Hayashi the experiences of Norway’s nearly two years on the Security Council.

Japan is Norway’s third largest trading partner in Asia. Seafood accounts for 48% of Norwegian exports to Japan. In Tokyo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs also met representatives of some of the sixty Norwegian companies represented in Japan.

– We want to strengthen economic cooperation with Japan. As ocean and technology nations, we have good prerequisites for cooperation and trade that can contribute to value creation in maritime, seafood, renewable energy, digitalization and creative industries, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Ambassador of Norway met with representatives of Norwegian companies in Japan.  Photo: Guri Solberg, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Foreign Minister and Norwegian Ambassador to Japan Inga Nyhamar met with representatives of Norwegian companies in the country. Photo: Guri Solberg, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Adele Matthews

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