Foreign Minister Kalfin to Pay Official Visit to Japan

Confirmation of the priority character of relations with Japan, boosting traditional friendship,
mutually beneficial cooperation and partnership in the new conditions of Bulgaria's EU membership and in the context of the global EU-Japan partnership are among the main objectives of a forthcoming official visit of Foreign Minister Ivailo Kalfin to Japan, BTA reports. The visit, from November 4 to 7, is at the invitation of Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Masahiko Komura, the ministry's information service said Thursday.

The visit will feature official talks with Komura, a meeting with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, the President of the House of Councilors of the National Diet of Japan Satsuki Eda, with the parliamentary friendship groups in the two chambers of the Diet and the new Honorary Consul of Bulgaria in Japan Shinichi Munemasa (name may be misspelt).

Meetings with representatives of Japanese business circles have also been planned.

The visit will focus on presenting Bulgaria's potential as an economic partner, as well as this country's advantages for business, investments and tourism.

In another development, Kalfin received the newly-appointed Japanese Ambassador in Sofia Tsuneharu Takeda, the ministry said.

Kalfin welcomed the Japanese Ambassador and expressed conviction that during his mandate the traditionally friendly relations with between the two countries will continue to develop successfully and that political dialogue will introduce new ideas in them. He pointed out that Bulgaria's EU membership creates conditions for boosting cooperation, outlining new prospects in all fields - from economy to culture.

The talk centered on the forthcoming visit of Kalfin to Japan, in relation to which the Bulgarian Foreign Minister recalled with satisfaction the visit paid by Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso to Bulgaria last January, the first one in 23 years.

Kalfin merited highly Japan's support in the form of preferential loans for key infrastructure projects, grants in the field of culture and education, and the sending of volunteers and experts along the line of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), among others. he hailed the interest of major Japanese investors in Bulgaria and expressed hope for a more tangible presence of Japanese business in this country.

Kalfin also stressed Bulgaria's desire to boost relations in the field of culture and presented the idea of Days of Bulgaria in Japan on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the restoration of bilateral diplomatic relations in 2009.

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