[1 October 2008] The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Radoslaw Sikorski, started his visit to Japan with a meeting at Japanese Institute for International Affairs, where he gave a lecture devoted to security issues in the Eurasia region.

In the afternoon, plenary talks were held between both delegations lead by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Poland and Japan. The Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hirofumi Nakasone, expressed the conviction that both the current and the planned visit to Japan by President Lech Kaczyn’ski will lead to a deepening in bilateral relations. Both ministers underlined that current academic and technical cooperation is proceeding very successfully and there are significant opportunities to expand this, particularly in the field of energy creation and saving. Minister Sikorski expressed satisfaction at the involvement of Japanese investors in Poland, at the same time emphasising that locating scientific research centres by Japanese investors in our country would be a desirable step. The minister also mentioned that Poland will soon be in a position sign a cultural agreement. The Japanese foreign minister passed on comments given during his recent visit to Poland, including to Wroclaw, regarding conditions for business conditions in our country, in particular regarding infrastructure needs and the speeding up and simplification of administrative procedures. During the meeting, issues regarding development aid for Ukraine and Afghanistan were raised. The Japanese foreign minister expressed recognition of Poland’s wide-ranging engagement in Afghanistan. Minister Sikorski underscored Japan’s generosity in financing reconstruction programmes in Afghanistan. In this context, he also mentioned the possibility of carrying out joint projects, also involving provincial reconstruction teams. During the meeting, Minister Sikorski presented the main assumptions of the Eastern Partnership programme adopted by the EU, which the Japanese received with great interest. Minister Nakasone expressed Japan’s interest in the realisation of the planned programmes as part of the Partnership. During the meeting, Minister Sikorski informed Minister Nakasone about a project to honour the 90th anniversary on 23 March 2009 of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Japan. In the evening, Minister Sikorski took part in an official dinner given in his honour by the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Hirofumi Nakasone.

[2 October 2008] On the second day of the visit, Minister Sikorski was received by the Heir to the Throne Crown Prince Naruhito. Following that, the minister took part in a working breakfast with representatives of the Japanese Federation of Business (Keidanren), during which he gave a talk entitled “Prospects for the development of economic relations between Poland and Japan” which was devoted to the scale and prospects of expanding Japanese investment in our country. In the remaining part of the 1.5-hour meeting, Minister Sikorski answered questions regarding conditions for business in Poland, including possible tax and administrative changes being considered by the current government. There were also questions regarding the potential effects of recent events in relations with the Russian Federation and the USA, and also the implications of the international financial crisis on the prospects for trade and investment between Japan and Poland.

In the next point of the programme, Minister Sikorski met with representatives of the media in the Japanese International Press Centre, followed by a meeting with Japanese Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada. In the evening, Minister Sikorski took part in a reception at the Polish Embassy with representatives of the local Polish community, including the academic and business community (see photos to the right.)

Source: Minister of Foreign Affairs (compiled by PCCIJ)