Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that he will travel to Asia from March 23-27, 2012, for official visits to Thailand and Japan, and to participate in the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit in South Korea. He will be accompanied by John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Bev Oda, Minister of International Cooperation.
“Canada continues to deepen its strategic partnerships in Asia in order to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians,” said the Prime Minister. “With the global economic recovery remaining fragile, I look forward to exploring new ways of strengthening our relationship with Thailand and Japan.”
Prime Minister Harper will visit Bangkok from March 23-24, at the invitation of Thailand’s Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra. The Prime Ministers will mark more than 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, as well as the 35th anniversary of Canada’s relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Thailand is a member. While in Thailand, Prime Minister Harper will also promote Canada as an investment destination of choice and discuss cooperation between our two countries in combating human smuggling and terrorism in the region.
Following his visit to Thailand, Prime Minister Harper will visit Japan from March 25-26. In Japan, he will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to discuss a range of issues, including the state of the global economy, bilateral commercial ties and regional security. He will also travel to the northern area near Sendai to express Canada’s sympathy to the victims of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.
Prime Minister Harper will then visit South Korea from March 26-27 to participate in the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul.
“Canada continues to play an important role in international efforts to address nuclear security,” said the Prime Minister. “The Seoul Summit will provide the opportunity to report on progress achieved over the last two years and to work with partners to enhance nuclear security at home and abroad.”
The Summit brings together world leaders from over 50 countries, including all G-8 and G-20 members, as well as four international organizations, to discuss concrete efforts to secure vulnerable nuclear materials worldwide and prevent nuclear terrorism.