Japan has been an important partner of Switzerland in Asia for decades. At the international level, the two countries share similar positions in many areas. Bilateral relations are intensive in particular in the economic field. The free-trade agreement, which came into effect in September 2009, has further strengthened this close relationship. In addition, in July 2010, a memorandum was signed on closer cooperation and a political dialogue between the two Foreign Ministers.
Mrs Calmy-Rey and her Japanese guest discussed among other things the issues of global climate change as well as cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Japan shares interests similar to Switzerland in the fields of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation as well as in the areas of climate and the environment.
Following the talks with Mrs Calmy-Rey, Mr Banno met the Director of the Federal Office for Energy, Mr Walter Steinmann, for a working lunch. The possibility of closer cooperation between the two countries in the areas of energy including renewable forms of energy, energy efficiency and the peaceful use of nuclear energy were the main subjects of the discussion.
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