National / Politics

Japan and Lithuania agree to boost bilateral economic cooperation

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Lithuanian counterpart Saulius Skvernelis agreed Friday to promote bilateral economic cooperation as a free trade agreement signed by Japan and the European Union in July is expected to help expand exchanges of goods between the two countries.

Abe told reporters after the meeting that he hopes bilateral economic ties will strengthen further. A business mission is accompanying the Lithuanian leader on his first visit to Japan.

Citing World War II-era Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, credited with saving thousands of Jewish refugees from the Holocaust while serving as acting consul to Lithuania, Abe said, “The strong bond between our two countries nurtured through Mr. Sugihara has deepened steadily.”

Skvernelis said the value of trade between the two countries has increased since Abe’s visit to the Baltic country in January.

The two leaders also agreed to cooperate in such areas as science, technology and health care, with Tokyo and Vilnius exchanging memorandums.

Skvernelis also said his country will support Osaka’s bid to host the 2025 World Expo.