Japan and Switzerland have traditionally enjoyed excellent relations.
At a political level, President Ignazio Cassis visited Japan this April with an economic and scientific delegation and had worthwhile meetings with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and other ministers. Also, in June, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kiyoshi Odawara and President Cassis met in New York on the occasion of the election of the nonpermanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
I am pleased to see that active high-level exchanges between our two countries have been conducted.
Switzerland is one of the most important partners to Japan, as both countries share fundamental values such as rule of law and respect for human rights.
Japan and Switzerland will both take seats as nonpermanent members on the Security Council from next year, and Japan would like to work more closely with Switzerland on various security issues and challenges in this organ.
In the economic field, the Japan-Switzerland economic partnership agreement has contributed to the expansion of bilateral trade for more than 10 years.
Last year, the protocol amending the Japan-Switzerland tax convention was signed to strengthen the foundation to promote investment and economic exchanges between our countries.
The opening of a Swiss Consular Office in Osaka last year will enhance relations in the fields of science, technology and innovation. We look forward to increased exchanges between Japan and Switzerland in these areas, too.
In 2024, Japan and Switzerland will celebrate the 160th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Switzerland has announced its participation in the 2025 World Expo in Osaka. These two events will provide us with optimal momentum to enhance bilateral ties, and we would like to take these opportunities to further expand the wide range of exchanges our two countries enjoy today.