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Kishida Champions Connect with the Global South on Grueling Global Tour; He meets the Brazilian Lula in person


The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will be welcomed by children of Japanese descent in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Saturday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida emphasized the importance of strengthening cooperation with emerging and developing countries of the Global South during his visits to France, Brazil and Paraguay that began on May 1. In view of competition with China, he wants to strengthen Japanese influence. so that international order can be maintained. The journey was a grueling journey around the world, 54 hours of which were spent just in transit.

“The past few days have given me enormous satisfaction. Going forward, I will continue to devote my full efforts to diplomatic leadership aimed at promoting the kind of cooperative international society that I know Japan can foster,” Kishida emphasized during a press conference in Sao Paulo on Saturday evening. This last trip was mainly focused on relations with the Global South.

Speaking at a meeting of the OECD Council of Ministers in Paris, Kishida emphasized that “strengthening cooperation with these increasingly important regions is the future that the OECD must pursue,” referring to countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia .

In addition, he announced the creation of an international framework for generative artificial intelligence, involving 49 countries and regions, and called for cooperation among “countries with a common vision.”

During his meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has been critical of the Group of Seven industrialized countries, Kishida carefully explained the issues that Japan considers important, such as the rule of law and compliance with international law. The two leaders subsequently released a joint statement that included these items. Kishida’s decision to visit Brazil was made with the intention of getting closer to that country, which is a major nation in the global South and will host November’s G20 summit, in which China and Russia will also participate.

The two leaders held a joint press conference in which Lula showed a pragmatic attitude, including asking Japan to import Brazilian beef. But those close to Kishida said, “It was very significant that he traveled all the way to the other side of the world to [Lula] personal.”

“We will expand our solidarity network and work with others in a uniquely Japanese way. The visit meant a lot for our partnerships with the South,” Kishida reflected at a press conference.

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