At the press conference he gave with the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, the President of the Government, Mariano Rajoy, said that "Japan and Spain share common values and interests" and that the Dual Year represents a "great opportunity" to foster stronger relations between the two societies, "especially in the field of academics - in science and technology - and in the field of cultural industries".
At their meeting, the President of the Government and the Japanese Prime Minister discussed various channels for cooperation that, as Mariano Rajoy stated, were reflected in a partnership agreement for peace, development and innovation.
The agreement, which lays the groundwork for what will become stronger relations between Japan and Spain, also provides for closer cooperation in terms of the economy, technology, tourism, gastronomy and infrastructure. It also creates mechanisms for cooperation between Spanish and Japanese companies in emerging markets.
Mariano Rajoy added that the agreement seeks to strengthen ties between Spanish and Japanese society by promoting language, facilitating visas, supporting educational and cultural exchanges and fostering cooperation in terms of sport.
The President of the Government of Spain believes that "we have taken a giant leap forward in every aspect of our bilateral relations" on this trip to Japan.
The President of the Government also said that the Prince and Princess of Asturias will visit Japan in the first quarter of 2014.
Regional model and other current affairs
When asked by the media about the demands regarding the regional model in Spain, the President of the Government replied by saying "I believe in the State of Autonomous Regions; I firstly believe in the law and then in dialogue, loyalty and cooperation from everyone".
He recalled that, at a time of economic crisis such as this, "the regional governments, the State Government and the local authorities have all been capable of working together towards achieving the same national target, which is to reduce the public deficit" and stressed that there are more processes of union under way in the world today than of division, and that there are fewer borders and customs tariffs.
As regards the criticism from certain autonomous regions regarding the General State Budget, Mariano Rajoy said it has been designed to help achieve the "great national objective, which is to return to economic growth and create jobs". He stressed it is a balanced budget with a sensible growth forecast that will help boost confidence, adding that "discussions" are "inevitable" but that he is convinced "any problems will be ironed out".
As regards whether he supports the opening of more nuclear power plants in Spain, the President of the Government defended the current Spanish energy model as "balanced" and a combination of different energy types, such as renewables, thermo-solar, wind, gas, oil, coal and nuclear.