Strengthening Ties with Central, South American Countries; Foreign Minister Kamikawa Unveils Diplomatic Initiative at Meeting in Panama

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, front, visits the Panama Canal in Panama City on Friday.

PANAMA CITY — Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa unveiled a Japanese diplomatic initiative with Central and South American countries in Panama City on Friday, a move aimed at strengthening maritime cooperation and other areas where the countries collaborate.

Central and South American countries have abundant important mining resources. Panama is seen as a key location for world maritime traffic, and many Japanese companies have business bases in Mexico.

The initiative regards Central and South American countries as Japan’s “essential partners for economic security.”

In addition to maritime affairs, the Japanese government is considering cooperation with the countries in such fields as armament reduction, gender equality and issues related to local communities of people with Japanese descendants.

“We want to hold dialogues with Central and South American countries steadily for a year, and give shape [to the initiative],” Kamikawa said at a press conference.

Prior to the press conference, Kamikawa met with Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo, and the two confirmed their commitment to cooperate on maintaining and developing “free and open oceans.”

Kamikawa also visited the Panama Canal.