Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met today with the Prime Minister of Japan, Junichiro Koizumi, who was received with military honors at the Planalto Palace. The trade relationship between Brazil and Japan was one of the items on their agenda.
Since 1997, Japan has had a surplus in its trade balance with Brazil, whose trade deficit with Japan reached US$ 1.07 billion in 2001, falling to US$ 249.591 million in 2002 and US$ 209.872 million in 2003. Over the past eight years, Brazil’s only trade surplus with Japan was in 1996: US$ 263.358 million.
Lula and Koizumi likewise exchanged views on future relations between the two countries from the standpoint of the commemoration of the 2008 centennial of Japanese immigration to Brazil and the presence of a sizeable Brazilian community in Japan.
Multilateral issues, particularly reforms in the United Nations and international cooperation to promote peace, security, and development, also came up for discussion.
Another important theme of the encounter was cooperation in the sphere of energy sources and infrastructure. Koizumi pointed out that Japan and Brazil must not only strengthen their bilateral relationship but cooperate in the international arena, as well.
“Japan and Brazil share common interests in various areas, so I am certain that the two countries can cooperate more and more as global partners,” he affirmed.
The Prime Minister stated that during his visit to Brazil he could see that the country “is developing vigorously, overcoming difficulties along the path to consolidating stable development.”
According to President Lula, Brazil and Japan have an “indisputable” vocation for occupying permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council. Lula called for renewal in the UN’s institutions and asked Japan to back this call.
During the luncheon in honor of the Japanese Prime Minister, President Lula underscored that Koizumi’s presence in Brazil opens a new phase in the relationship between the two countries. The Brazilian President recalled that within a period of a few decades Japan transformed itself into the world’s second biggest economic power, and he said that Brazil is also resuming its growth.
President Lula expressed his desire that Brazil will once again become the preferred site of Japanese enterprises. He guaranteed that he will strive to make Japan once again a source of investments and knowledge for Brazil.
Lula also disclosed that he accepted an invitation by Koizumi to visit Japan in the near future.
Reporter: Daniel Lima
Translator: David Silberstein