Brazil’s Lula Calls for Stronger Economic Ties with Japan

REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez
Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva looks on as he speaks during the inauguration of the International Book Fair (FilBo) in Bogota, Colombia April 17, 2024.

Brasilia, April 30 (Jiji Press) — Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Tuesday that his country plans to strengthen ties with Japan in economic fields, including energy and the environment, toward decarbonization.

Speaking to Japanese reporters at the presidential office in Brasilia, Lula also expressed a willingness to cooperate with Japan in reforming the U.N. Security Council.

The president is set to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday during his visit to Brazil.

Lula pointed out that Brazil’s annual trade with Japan has fallen sharply to about $11 billion from $17 billion in 2011.

The president stressed that Brazil has huge opportunities that Japan needs, saying his country has abundant resources including renewable energy sources such as sunlight and wind as well as next-generation energy sources such as hydrogen.

The Lula administration has made protecting the Amazon rainforest a key goal, and plans to host an annual U.N. climate conference in Belem near the mouth of the Amazon river next year.

The president, who has a goal of eliminating deforestation by 2030, said that he wants to build a partnership with Japan over Brazil’s plan to plant trees on 40 million hectares of cutover land, referring to Tokyo’s pledge to participate in a fund to protect the Amazon rainforest.

On the conflict in Ukraine, Lula said that his country has refused to sell weapons directly to Ukraine, due to his opposition to war. He reiterated a willingness to broker peace between Moscow and Kyiv.

Brazil, this year’s chair of the Group of 20 major economies, has made reforms of international bodies such as the U.N. Security Council a key agenda.

The president said that the Ukraine conflict has shown that the United Nations is helpless, and that such a conflict can be averted if more countries are represented in the Security Council.

He said Brazil will deepen cooperation with countries such as Japan, which is aiming to become a permanent member of the council.