During an official visit to Italy this month, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni to discuss how the countries to expand their strategic partnerships involving the economy, defense and culture.
Following the working lunch at Palazzo Chigi, the official residence of the prime minister, the two leaders affirmed their commitment “to strengthen contacts at every level and open new fields (of cooperation) for citizens and companies.” They also announced that Japan and Italy will launch a bilateral foreign defense consultation mechanism during the first half of this year.
The defense initiative comes amid the ongoing concern over the war in Ukraine, which Kishida has said could be “tomorrow’s East Asia.” With the shifting global geopolitical situation, Japan and Italy want to maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region, which is vital to international trade.
“We had a long talk that started with the excellent trade relations between Italy and Japan, which has reached 12 billion euros a year,” Meloni said.
Leading the efforts to attract more investment from around the world is the Italian Trade Agency, which was formed in 2011 and operates an office in Aoyama, Tokyo.
The two leaders also discussed the Global Compact Air Program, also known as Tempest. The program, spearheaded by by Italy, Japan, and the UK, aims to develop a sixth-generation vehicle that will bear significant results in civil and scientific research.
“Our long conversation demonstrates again that Japan, despite the geographical distance that apparently divides us, remains not only a friendly nation but a partner of central and strategic importance for Italy’s interests,” Meloni said.