Yomiuri and Mainichi reported on a meeting held between Prime Minister Abe and President Varela of Panama at the Kantei on Thursday. The papers wrote that Abe pledged Japan’s continued cooperation in Panama’s development of infrastructure, including the Panama Canal and a monorail line. At a post-meeting joint press conference, Abe said Japan will further deepen its partnership with Panama based on their strong economic ties. The Panamanian leader expressed his nation’s gratitude for Japan’s economic cooperation by saying that Japan has been playing a critical role in his country’s development.
Nikkei also reported on the meeting between the Japanese and Panamanian leaders, saying that Abe called for Panama’s cooperation in achieving a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” The paper conjectured that Japan will strengthen its ties with Panama, which established diplomatic relations with China in 2017 by severing ties with Taiwan. Sankei ran a similar report, adding that Abe called for Panama’s cooperation in resolving the abduction issue.