Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is looking to Canada to help his country phase out fossil fuels from places like Russia.
Kishida is in Ottawa on Thursday for his first trip as Japan’s head of government, as part of a tour of other Group of Seven countries.
Japan is chairing the G-7 this year and is set to host meetings with leaders of some of the world’s richest countries. The group includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, as well as the European Union.
Tokyo plans to use the presidency to coordinate economic management with other states and punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
Kishida arrived in Ottawa from London on Wednesday night and is expected to fly to Washington, DC, later on Thursday.
The visit comes at a time of heightened geopolitical alignment between Japan and Canada, both of which have recently pointed to China as a threat to stability in the region.
Kishida’s arrival marks the first visit by an Asian head of government to Canada since Ottawa launched its Indo-Pacific strategy last November, which called for closer ties with the countries to counter Beijing’s influence.
A new Japanese defense strategy unveiled last month included working with allies to contain threats from North Korea and China, and made it legal for Japan to launch military strikes against enemy targets. Tokyo is increasing its military spending by 26 percent in just one year.
Meanwhile, a regional trade agreement launched in 2018 has helped the two countries expand trade with each other’s markets. Under the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, Canada has increased its exports of pork and oil to Japan while importing more Japanese machinery and auto parts.
“Business between our two countries is booming,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a luncheon for Kishida and corporate executives on Thursday.
“We share a vision of peace and prosperity on both sides of the Pacific.”
Kishida told guests that liquefied natural gas will play an “important role” in Japan’s energy transformation, and that Canada’s impending LNG export terminal could help Ottawa in a number of ways.
“On science, technology and innovation (digital transformation) and startups, I am very interested in further strengthening cooperation between industry, government and academia in both countries,” Kishida told participants in Japanese via an English interpreter. told.
“Nuclear power will also play an important role, and we look forward to working together to make nuclear supply chains more resilient.”
The Canadian government will lead a trade delegation to Japan, Trudeau said, and Japanese companies interested in mining and battery components for electric vehicles aim to visit Canada in the spring.