Credit: MAEE

On Monday 10 June 2024, Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Defence, Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade and the Embassy of Japan to Luxembourg have reported on the first day of the economic mission to Japan.

Chaired by Luxembourg’s Hereditary Grand Duke and led jointly by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Xavier Bettel, and the Minister of the Economy, SMEs, Energy and Tourism, Lex Delles, the economic mission to Japan kicked off with a series of high-level meetings, including a bilateral discussion with the Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, and an audience with the Emperor of Japan at the Imperial Palace..

At the outset, Prime Minister Kishida emphasised that the close relationship between the Imperial Household and the Grand Ducal Household is the cornerstone of “excellent bilateral relations” between Japan and Luxembourg. He welcomed the Luxembourg Economic Mission, expressing hope that it would further strengthen economic ties, particularly in the fields of space and startups. In response, the Hereditary Grand Duke and Minister Bettel conveyed their gratitude and reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing the friendly relationship between the two nations on the political, economic and cultural levels.

During the bilateral meeting, the Hereditary Grand Duke, Deputy Prime Minister Bettel, and Prime Minister Kishida took an in-depth look at the multifaceted relations between Luxembourg and Japan. They discussed plans for the upcoming world exposition Expo Osaka 2025, the Centenary of Diplomatic Relations in 2027 and preparations for commemorating 100 years of diplomatic ties and the recently-approved working holiday programme, effective from 3 June 2024, allowing young Luxembourgers and Japanese aged eighteen to 30 to access the local labour market and finance their stay while spending holidays in the respective countries, according to the ministry.

The discussion also covered close cooperation in the financial and space fields, with both parties agreeing to bolster collaboration in these sectors. Additionally, they exchanged views on regional affairs and the recognition of a Palestinian state, the ministry noted.

Luxembourg’s Hereditary Grand Duke was received by the Emperor of Japan and by the Crown Prince and Princess, which provided an opportunity to highlight the close relations and friendship between the Imperial House of Japan and the Sovereign House of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

The economic mission will continue with further political discussions and an economic programme aimed at deepening the strategic partnership between Luxembourg and Japan, the Embassy and the ministry concluded.