BUCHAREST — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis agreed Tuesday to promote bilateral economic ties by encouraging more Japanese companies to branch out into the European country.
During their meeting in Bucharest, Abe and Iohannis also confirmed the need to boost bilateral security cooperation and maximize pressure on North Korea, which is pursuing nuclear and missile programs, they said in a joint press conference after the talks.
The Japanese prime minister stopped in Romania on the last leg of his six-nation European tour.
“The main pillar to bolster bilateral ties is the economy,” Abe said, expressing Japan’s readiness to support Romanian infrastructure construction, including a railway project to access Bucharest’s international airport.
Iohannis said he believes more investment from Japan would expand trade between the two countries.
Japan is the biggest Asian investor in Romania, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry. A total of 93 Japanese companies have made inroads into Romania on the back of relatively cheap personnel costs in the country, the ministry said.
To promote personnel exchanges, Abe also said Japan has decided to waive visa requirements for Romanians visiting Japan.
Abe’s planned meeting with his Romanian counterpart Mihai Tudose was canceled after Tudose announced Monday he would step down after his party withdrew its support for him amid a power struggle.
Instead, Vice Prime Minister Paul Stanescu attended a meeting with a Japanese business delegation together with Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kotaro Nogami.
The premier left for Tokyo later Tuesday, wrapping up the six-day trip that also took him to the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as Bulgaria and Serbia. Abe became the first Japanese prime minister to visit those countries.