Japan and Guatemala affirm their cooperation in maintaining international order

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Guatemalan Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo meet on July 16, 2021 in Guatemala City. (Photo courtesy Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) – Foreign ministers of Japan and Guatemala, which maintains diplomatic relations with Taiwan, agreed at a meeting in Guatemala City on Friday to cooperate in maintaining an open and evidence-based international order. rules as tensions continue to mount across the Taiwan Strait. .

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi’s meeting with his Guatemalan counterpart Pedro Brolo came as China increased its influence through COVID-19 vaccine diplomacy and infrastructure investments with Central American countries and countries. Caribbean. Guatemala and eight other countries in the region maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Communist China and democratic Taiwan have been governed separately since their separation in 1949 following a civil war. Beijing sees Taiwan as a renegade province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

“I hope to further strengthen the bilateral partnership with Guatemala,” which shares universal values ​​such as the rule of law, democracy and respect for human rights, Motegi said at the start of the meeting.

Motegi later said in a joint press conference that he and Brolo shared the view that strengthening their countries’ ties is important, especially when the international balance of power is rapidly changing and becoming more complex.

Brolo told the press conference that Japan-Guatemala relations are strategic and there is room for growth in bilateral trade.

Motegi also announced the provision of $ 2.8 million in emergency aid to Guatemala to help it rebuild after damage from the hurricane last year.

The Japanese minister also met with foreign ministers from the Central American Integration System – a regional bloc of eight countries that aims to boost economic integration – of which Guatemala currently holds the rotating presidency.

The ministers, some of whom participated remotely, discussed the pandemic response, disaster reduction, poverty and climate change, Japan’s foreign ministry said.

Members of the bloc have shown understanding for the Japanese government’s decision to release treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean, according to the ministry.

In a separate meeting in Guatemala City, Salvadoran Foreign Minister Alexandra Hill told Motegi the country was eager to deepen ties with Japan to resolve global issues and thanked the Asian country for its support in the areas of poverty, public security, infrastructure development and human resource development. .

Motegi had telephone conversations with Rodolfo Solano, Costa Rican Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship, who thanked Japan for its help in measures to combat the coronavirus, including the provision of medical equipment.

The Japanese minister will also visit Panama and Jamaica before returning to Japan. His planned trip to Cuba on Monday was canceled, Cuban and Japanese officials said. Recently there have been a series of anti-government protests in Cuba.

The latest tour follows Motegi’s visits in January to Latin American countries Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay.

His visit to Guatemala marked the first such trip to the country by a Japanese foreign minister in 34 years, the Japanese ministry said.


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