Abe: Japan enters cooperation pact with Baltic countries

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe listens during the meeting with Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis at the government's headquarters in Vilnius, Lithuania, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. Abe said Saturday his country has entered into a pact with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to boost economic and political ties with the three former Soviet republics. (AP Photo/Liusjenas Kulbis)

Japan's prime minister says his country has entered into a pact with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to boost economic and political ties with the three former Soviet republics

TALLINN, Estonia — Japan's prime minister said Saturday his country has entered into a pact with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to boost economic and political ties with the three former Soviet republics.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis said after meeting in Riga, Latvia's capital, that information technology, transportation and medicine are areas where Japan sees the most trade potential in the Baltic countries.

Abe praised the cargo harbor in Riga as "a successful center of transportation and logistics" that will allow Asian suppliers to deliver goods to the region.

The four-way Japan-Baltics trade pact is likely to yield benefits for Tokyo only once a larger partnership deal between the European Union and Japan has been ratified.

Abe, accompanied by a sizable Japanese business delegation, and Kucinskis both urged rapid ratification of the EU-Japan trade deal reached in December.

"I am glad that economic partnership treaty negotiations between Japan and the European Union have been concluded," Abe said, referring to the free trade agreement that will open EU markets such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania to Japanese companies and vice versa.

Latvia is the second leg of Abe's six-nation European tour that started in Estonia on Friday. Abe is scheduled to also visit Lithuania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania. He is the first sitting Japanese prime minister to ever visit those countries.

Abe arrived in Lithuania Saturday afternoon to meet with President Dalia Grybausakaite and Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, and to honor a late Japanese diplomat based in Lithuania during World War II. Chiune Sugihara is credited with helping save about 2,500 European Jews in 1940 by issuing them travel visas.

Abe said he discussed with Lithuanian leaders closer cooperation between the Baltic states and Japan in the areas of defense, economics and cybersecurity. He also thanked Lithuania for its support amid the tension over North Korea's missile tests.

"We have to increase our cooperation in this field to increase pressure on North Korea and condemnation of its actions" he said.

He is set to visit Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania on Sunday.

Related News

Ford to invest $75M in autonomous vehicle sensor company

Aug 16, 2016

Ford and Chinese search engine company Baidu will invest $75 million each in Velodyne, a company that makes laser sensors that help guide self-driving cars

Navajo Nation sues feds over massive 2015 mine waste spill

Aug 16, 2016

One of the nation's largest American Indian tribes is suing the federal government over a massive mine waste spill that tainted rivers in three Western states

Ford says it will have a fully autonomous car by 2021

Aug 17, 2016

Ford Motor Co. intends to have a fully driverless vehicle _ no steering wheel, no pedals _ on the road within five years

Broaden News

About Us

In-Depth Science delivers comprehensive and compelling news and analysis on everything science and technology, seven days a week in a reader-friendly format.

Contact us: sales@indepthscience.com