Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will set off on a trip to Japan and the Republic of Korea today (24 July): Tomorrow, Wednesday, he will meet his counterpart Tarō Kōno in Tokyo and give a speech on German Japanese relations and the role of Asia within a changed world order. He will also be briefed on current developments in the field of artificial intelligence. A meeting with Prime Minister Shinzō Abe is also scheduled to take place. In Seoul, Maas will meet Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung wha and Minister of Unification Cho Myoung Gyon. He will then visit the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) before concluding his trip with a meeting with German companies in the region.
Foreign Minister Maas issued the following statement prior to his departure:
It is no coincidence that my first visit to Asia is taking me to Japan and Korea. This is an expression of our special partnership based on values and of our friendship. The EU and Japan created the world’s largest free trade zone just one week ago. In turbulent times for foreign policy when a commitment to multilateral approaches for resolving common problems can no longer be taken for granted, the close partnership with Japan and the Republic of Korea has become even more important for Germany.