OSAKA, Japan – The president of Argentina held a brief meeting with the prime minister of Japan on Thursday, a day before the G20 summit kicks off in Osaka.
Mauricio Macri and Shinzo Abe appeared smiling before the cameras in what was their first meeting in more than six months.
It served to align their positions ahead of the summit, to be held on Friday and Saturday, during which discussions held will include environmental protections and free trade amid current tensions.
The leaders exchanged views on issues to be addressed during the summit, such as achieving a free, open, inclusive and sustainable society, and they agreed to work together to make the Osaka summit a success like last year’s in Buenos Aires, the Japanese foreign ministry said in a statement.
Addressing bilateral issues, Abe praised the free and open economic policy of Macri and expressed his expectation of the entry into force of the tax treaty signed by the two governments and which has been ratified by the Japanese parliament.
Abe added that he wished to promote more trade and investment between the two nations, referring to the program that grants working holiday visas of which Argentina is party to, and which has welcomed 200 people – a figure which is expected to double to 400 by 2020.
Macri said he was honored to once again meet Abe, with whom he has always had a productive relationship, and he expressed his desire to deepen strategic bilateral alliances.
The meeting, which lasted around 15 minutes, took place a few hours after the Argentinian leader arrived at Kansai International Airport, where he was received by Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura.
The last time Macri and Abe met was in Buenos Aires in Dec. 2018, when Argentina passed the chairmanship of the G20 – a group of the most developed and emerging economies in the world – to Japan.
Macri was also scheduled to meet Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.