Japan-Albania Summit Meeting (Summary)

February 22, 2023
On February 22, commencing around 6:20 pm for approximately 95 minutes, Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, held a Summit Meeting and dinner with H.E. Mr. Edi Rama, Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania, who was on an official working visit to Japan. The summary of the meeting and dinner is as follows.
1. Introduction
(1) Prime Minister Kishida expressed hope that this latest visit by Prime Minister Rama serves as an opportunity to further deepen the bilateral relations between the two countries that marked the 100th Anniversary of Friendship last year.
(2) In response, Prime Minister Rama appreciated the warm welcome extended by Prime Minister Kishida and stated that Mr. TAKADA Mitsuyuki, Ambassador of Japan to Albania, has been instrumental in further strengthening the bilateral relations in recent years.
2. Bilateral relations
(1) Prime Minister Kishida welcomed the steady development of economic ties between the two countries in recent years, including the launch of export of farmed tuna from Albania and the establishment of the Albania-Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
(2) The two leaders confirmed that there still remains room for further development of bilateral economic relations and that they will further cooperate to promote investment between the two countries.
3. International affairs
(1) The two leaders shared the view that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is nothing but an attempt to unilaterally change the status quo by force, which they strongly condemn. Prime Minister Kishida stated that as the only country to have suffered atomic bombings during wartime, Japan will never tolerate Russia’s nuclear threat. The two leaders confirmed the importance of like-minded countries uniting and working together in responding to the crisis.
(2) The two leaders confirmed that they will work together as both countries serve as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council this year.
(3) Prime Minister Kishida explained that Japan formulated a new National Security Strategy at the end of last year amid the severe international security environment, and Prime Minister Rama expressed his strong support for the strategy. The two leaders shared the need to address economic and security challenges, including attempts to unilaterally change the status quo and economic coercion with force in the background in the East and South China Seas. They also shared serious concerns over North Korea’s increasingly active nuclear and missile programs, and confirmed that they will work together in dealing with the abduction issue and other North Korean challenges, including in the Security Council.
(4) Prime Minister Kishida stated that the stability of the Western Balkans region is important not only for Europe but also for Japan and the rest of the international community. Prime Minister Kishida also stated that Japan will dispatch an Ambassador in charge of the Western Balkans affairs to further strengthen initiatives to support the reform efforts of the Western Balkan countries toward EU membership through the “Western Balkans Cooperation Initiative.” Prime Minister Rama appreciated Japan’s contribution to Albania through the Initiative, and the two leaders confirmed the importance of Western Balkan countries and Japan engaging in further dialogue under the Initiative.
(5) The two leaders shared the view that strengthening the functions of the UN, including the Security Council reform, is essential. The two leaders agreed that Japan and Albania will further strengthen cooperation in the international arena, including the UN.

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