TOKYO, Japan - Cuban Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel met Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida Friday, as part of his visit to Japan to strengthen economic cooperation.
Both pledged to improve the investment climate in Cuba and cooperate towards increasing medical supplies to the Caribbean country, which sometimes suffers from scarcity.
Kishida also asked for Cuba's cooperation in dealing with the latter's ally, North Korea, which does not have any diplomatic relations with Tokyo.
Japan has systematically condemned abductions of its citizens and weapons' tests by the Pyongyang regime.
Diaz-Canel's visit, during which he also met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, comes at a time when several Japanese companies are returning to the island, including Japan's Mitsubishi Corporation, which had left Cuba in 1981, but opened a new office in Havana on June 1.
Two other big names, Marubeni and Mitsui (which left the island in 1995 and 2006, respectively) also plan to open their new Cuban branches this fall, reported economic daily Nikkei.
Last year Kishida had visited Cuba and pledged to strengthen ties and redouble aid from Tokyo.
On Friday, Diaz-Canel is expected to visit Tokyo Skytree, which at 634 meters (2,083 feet), is the world's highest communication tower, before attending a ball game of Tokyo's Yomiuri Giants, which has Cuban players like Frederich Cepeda, Leslie Anderson, Hector Mendoza and Jose Adolis Garcia.
Diaz-Canel will leave for Havana on Saturday from the Haneda airport.