Source: Government of Japan – Prime Minister
On February 10, 2020, the Prime Minister hosted a summit meeting and other events with H.E. Mr. Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia, at the Prime Minister’s Office.
The two leaders attended a salute and guard of honor ceremony, followed by a summit meeting. Afterwards, the leaders held an exchange of documents ceremony and a joint press announcement.
Lastly, the Prime Minister hosted a banquet at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence, and said in his address,
“I extend a heartfelt welcome to Prime Minister Ratas on his visit to Japan. At the meeting held earlier, we had a very meaningful exchange of views. This evening, I would like to invite you to relax and enjoy Japanese cuisine.
On this visit to Japan, Prime Minister Ratas is accompanied by many business leaders. When I visited Tallinn two years ago, as the first Prime Minister of Japan to ever do so, many business leaders joined my visit.
I am very pleased to see that the mutual visits by the leaders of our two countries have strengthened our economic relations significantly and deepened the relationship between Japan and Estonia both in the public and private sectors.
On this occasion, we are joined by the former Ozeki-ranked sumo wrestler Baruto Kaito, who is also widely renowned in Japan. Although his hairstyle is slightly different from before, he is accompanying Prime Minister Ratas on this visit, as Mr. Höövelson, a member of the parliament in Estonia. After retiring from sumo wrestling, he returned to Estonia, and is now dedicated to strengthening Japan-Estonia relations in his roles as a member of the Estonian parliament and an entrepreneur. I would like to express my gratitude for his efforts in this regard.
Mr. Paavo Järvi, Chief Conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra, has also joined us this evening. I would like to express my respect to Mr. Järvi, who serves as a bridge that connects the cultures of Japan, Estonia, and the world through music.
While I am unable to introduce each and every individual here, the relationship that Japan and Estonia share today is the fruit of all of your contributions. Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to convey my gratitude to all of you, and to ask for your continued cooperation and support.
As you all know, Estonia is at the forefront in IT. During my aforementioned visit to Estonia, I spoke about how I, too, have Estonian e-Residency. It was two years ago and, on that occasion, I said that I would make use of my e-Residency to import Estonia’s delicious chocolates to Japan after my retirement from politics.
I have not retired just yet but I did think that, when that day comes, with the Japan-EU (European Union) EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) having already entered into force, Estonian chocolates and honey would both make for good options. However, when I looked at this e-Residency card, I saw that it has already expired, so I decided that, when the time comes for me to retire, I will get this card renewed.
Now, I would like to propose a toast to the good health of Prime Minister Ratas and everyone here today with hope that our bilateral relations will further develop in every field through Prime Minister Rata’s visit this time.”