National / Politics

Abe, visiting Cuban Veep agree to boost economic, other ties

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Cuban First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez agreed Thursday to strengthen economic and other relations between Japan and Cuba, Japanese officials said.

In a meeting at his office, Abe said Tokyo wants to further enhance ties with Havana based on Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to Cuba last year and Diaz-Canel’s trip to Japan this time.

Diaz-Canel, Cuba’s first vice president of the Council of State and Ministers who is seen as a potential successor to Cuban President Raul Castro, voiced confidence that bilateral ties will be deepened as many Japanese companies are interested in Cuba.

During his visit to the Caribbean country in May last year, Kishida pledged to boost Japan’s official development assistance to Cuba.

Japan hopes to strengthen its ties with Cuba, which it sees as a potential investment destination, in wide-ranging areas such as infrastructure development, tourism and the medical field.

Diaz-Canel is visiting Japan at the invitation of the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo.