German leader Angela Merkel will visit Japan next Monday and Tuesday, her first visit in seven years. I would like to extend my warmest welcome to the chancellor, who will be visiting only Japan on this tour.

Now 10 years in office, Merkel has managed a stable government while resolutely addressing such issues as the euro crisis and Ukraine. In terms of diplomacy, she has placed utmost importance on relationships of mutual trust with her fellow leaders. During part of this period, Japan’s government was unstable, with a succession of prime ministers. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is now in his third year in office, and the two leaders have likely established a personal rapport since Abe’s visit to Germany in April last year.

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