• Kyodo News


Japan and Bulgaria have exchanged notes on grant aid worth up to ¥50.6 million for a project to help introduce Japanese culture in the East European country.

Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara and his Bulgarian counterpart, Nickolay Mladenov, who is in Japan with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, signed the documents Tuesday. The aid will be used to improve sound equipment at a musical and drama theater in Veliko Tarnovo, northern Bulgaria.

Maehara urged an improved investment environment in Bulgaria’s solar and wind power generation projects.

He also sought Bulgaria’s support for Japan’s bid to launch talks with the European Union on a free-trade agreement. Mladenov said Sofia will endorse the FTA talks if Tokyo makes progress on lowering nontariff barriers, Foreign Ministry officials said.

The two agreed to cooperate closely on matters such as reform of the U.N. Security Council and the denuclearization of North Korea, the ministry said. Bulgaria has diplomatic ties with the North.

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