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Abe starts diplomacy “marathon” on Imperial ceremony sidelines

  • October 21, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 7:56 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Oct. 21 (Jiji Press)–Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe started Monday a series of meetings with foreign leaders visiting Japan to attend the “Sokuirei-Seiden-no-Gi” ceremony on Tuesday to proclaim Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement.

Abe will meet with a total of about 50 heads of state and other leaders from abroad by Friday. On Monday, Abe met with 23 foreign dignitaries, including Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Jordan’s Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, at the State Guest House in the Motoakasaka district in Tokyo’s Minato Ward.

At a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Abe touched on the Middle East peace process and underscored the importance of resuming talks with the United States and Israel. Abbas expressed his hope for Japan’s contribution to the achievement of peace in the region.

The Japanese government invited representatives from over 190 countries and international organizations to the Sokuirei-Seiden-no-Gi ceremony and related events. According to the Foreign Ministry, 183 countries, and the United Nations, the European Union and the Palestinian Authority have informed Tokyo by Monday that they would send representatives to the events.

Some 400 foreign dignitaries, including Britain’s Prince Charles, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, are expected to attend the enthronement proclamation ceremony.

Abe is seen meeting with South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon on Thursday, amid deterioration in Japan-South Korea relations. Attention is being paid to what kind of messages they will issue for mending the strained bilateral ties, pundits said.

The series of meetings “will be a very good opportunity to help foreign countries further deepen their understanding of and interests in Japan, where the new era of Reiwa has started, and share its policy of working hand in hand with the international community toward realizing world peace and prosperity,” Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference on Monday.

Reiwa began on May 1, when Emperor Naruhito assumed the throne following the abdication the preceding day of his father, former Emperor Akihito, who now holds the title of Emperor Emeritus.

On Monday, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi held bilateral meetings with 11 visiting foreign officials, including Federica Mogherini, high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy.

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