MFA Nasser Bourita holds talks with his Japanese counterpart

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita, held talks, on September 2nd, 2022, by videoconference with his Japanese counterpart, Mr. Yoshimasa Hayashi.

The talks focused on the state and the prospects of bilateral relations as well as the incidents that have marked the last TICAD Summit, held in Tunis on August 27- 28, 2022.

The two ministers welcomed the excellence and the strength of relations between the two countries, characterized by the high esteem and the close relations between His Majesty King Mohammed VI and the Emperor of Japan Hironomiya Naruhito.

Mr. Bourita stressed that the Kingdom has always attached particular importance to the promotion and the deepening of its relations with Japan, in accordance with the Vision and the Orientations of the Sovereign.

Both parties stressed that the level of economic relations between the two countries is still below the potential, the capabilities and the willingness of both countries. They also agreed to undertake the necessary actions to strengthen the already extensive legal arsenal, framing bilateral cooperation, which was marked this year by the entry into force of two key agreements on investment and double taxation.

Moreover, High-level visits will be scheduled in the coming weeks to identify investment opportunities in Morocco for major Japanese economic groups. Mr. Bourita assured his counterpart that the Kingdom will provide the necessary facilities to attract and settle Japanese investments in Morocco.

Cooperation in the field of food security and, particularly, in the sector of phosphates and fertilizers was also at the heart of the talks between the two ministers. In this regard, it was agreed to raise the relationship in this area to a higher level, beyond that of a simple client-supplier relationship.

The two ministers also welcomed the level and the quality of tripartite cooperation programs implemented by the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the benefit of African partner countries. They also agreed to consider the possibility of expanding this cooperation to new countries and in other promising sectors, to be in line with the high importance given by Morocco to Africa and South-South Cooperation, in accordance with the High Royal Instructions, and Japan's interest with regard to its relations with the Continent.

Regarding the TICAD Summit in Tunis, Mr. Bourita welcomed the commitment of Japan, the first country to launch a partnership forum with Africa, to contribute to achieving the development of the Continent, its stability and the welfare of its people.

He recalled that TICAD is a forum for partnership and development, which must be protected from political maneuvers hatched by some known parties, paying tribute to the firm and consistent position shown by the Japanese delegation in Tunis. Mr. Bourita pointed to the responsibility of Tunisia, the host country of this edition of TICAD, for the serious deviations committed without consultation with the Japanese partner, and which have led to the presence and the participation of an entity that was not officially invited to the Summit. These deviations had an unfortunate impact on the results and the influence expected from this Summit, which was supposed to be an event of celebration and consolidation of the Japan-Africa partnership.

For his part, the Japanese minister said that Japan wishes to further develop the fruitful relations binding it to Morocco, especially in the economic field. He added that the Japanese authorities will provide their support and commitment to the establishment of Japanese companies in the Kingdom, which offers a favorable and promising investment climate.

Mr. Hayashi also reiterated his country's commitment to contributing to social development, economic stability and skills development in the Kingdom.

Referring to the recent events in TICAD 8 in Tunis, the Japanese minister reiterated his country's regret regarding the absence of Morocco, which he described as an "essential partner". He confirmed, once again, that Japan did not invite the said entity to the TICAD VIII Summit and that he had called on Tunisia to take all necessary measures in this regard. He stated that this "unequivocal" position was reiterated at the press conference that he held in Tokyo.

Renewing his thanks for Morocco's understanding of Japan's position, Mr. Hayashi expressed his country's keenness to continue working with Morocco within the framework of TICAD.


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