HAVANA – Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida met in Havana with former Cuban President Fidel Castro and the pair discussed the relations between their two countries, state-run media reported.
The meeting between Castro and Kishida, the first Japanese foreign minister to visit the island, took place on Saturday amid a “friendly atmosphere,” according to a brief article appearing on the front page of Juventud Rebelde.
Kishida also met with Cuban President Raul Castro and they agreed on the “positive” nature of the evolution of bilateral relations, the paper said.
One of the results of Kishida’s visit to the communist island is the non-reimbursable financial assistance, something not publicly specified until now, that Tokyo will provide to Havana to support the latter’s economic reform process to “update” its socialist model, as discussed between the Japanese minister and his Cuban counterpart, Bruno Rodriguez.
Kishida arrived in Cuba last Thursday from the United States accompanied by more than 20 Japanese businessmen from the financial, automobile, infrastructure, healthcare and tourism sectors, who participated in a forum with Cuban firms to explore business opportunities.
Cuba and Japan established diplomatic relations in 1929 and in 2014 the two nations celebrated the 400th anniversary of the arrival in Cuba of the first Japanese, samurai Hasekura Tsunenaga, with a wide-ranging program of commemorative activities.