News Presidency

Basque Country and Japan’s Mie Prefecture reaffirm their desire to continue strengthening their relations

2023 May 16
  • Iñigo Urkullu and Governor Katsuyuki Ichimi have ratified today in Ajuria Enea the renewal and extension of the 2018 and 2019 Memorandums of Understanding
  • Both governments reaffirm the will to continue cooperating on industrial policy, food culture and world heritage pilgrimage routes, among other matters

The Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu and the Governor of Mie Katsuyuki Ichimi held a meeting this morning in Ajuria Enea, in which they reaffirmed the will of both governments to continue strengthening their relations. The Governor heads a delegation from this prefecture of Japan which is currently visiting the Basque Country. The meeting with the Lehendakari was also attended by Yukihiro Komiyama, Director General, Department of Employment and Economic Affairs, Masayoshi Hashizume, Mayor of the city of Shima, Marian Elorza, Secretary General of the European Union and External Action and Conchi Quintana, Director of External Action. 

The meeting served to ratify the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2018 to promote cooperation and collaboration in industrial policy and agri-food, and a second Memorandum signed in 2019 to promote cooperation and exchange of world heritage pilgrimage routes. Both governments recognise the satisfactory results of these agreements, which are the fruit of the already existing collaboration and ratify their willingness to deepen this bilateral cooperation, as well as to explore other areas of mutual interest. 

In addition, the Lehendakari invited the Governor to participate in Tokyo in the Basque Country Japan 2023 initiative, which includes a programme of activities that will take place throughout the year in Japan, under the leadership of the Basque Government. The initiative seeks to strengthen relations and generate new projects and collaborations in the institutional, business, cultural, gastronomic and tourism fields. 

The programme of the Mie delegation in the Basque Country includes a visit to the Basque Agency for Internationalisation-Basque Trade & Investment (BTI) with officials from the Department of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment and a meeting with the Minister for Culture and Language Policy, Bingen Zupiria, to see the pilgrimage route along the Camino de Santiago (northern route) in situ, given that Mie is also home to another pilgrimage route, the Kumano Way, recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.


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Politicians attending the event