Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke tonight with Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan. The call was an opportunity for the Prime Minister to extend his personal congratulations to Mr. Abe on his recent election and appointment as Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Harper also offered his condolences to Prime Minister Abe and the families those Japanese nationals that were killed in the terrorist attack at the In Aménas gas facility in Algeria earlier this month. During their conversation, Prime Minister Harper and Prime Minister Abe underlined the strong partnership that exists between Canada and Japan - a relationship based on shared democratic values and deep people to people and economic ties. The two leaders discussed the potential for energy cooperation as well as matters of international security, and looked forward working together in international fora like the G-8.
Prime Minister Harper and Prime Minister Abe pledged to continue to work on initiatives of benefit to both countries, placing a particular emphasis on the conclusion of a high quality and comprehensive free trade agreement. Prime Minister Harper noted that Canada and Japan already enjoy close economic relations and further enhancing the bilateral trade and economic relationship is vital to the future prosperity of both nations.
Prime Minister Harper concluded by extending an invitation to Prime Minister Abe to visit Canada.