Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his wife Mareva Grabowski-Mitsotakis had a meeting with the heir to the Japanese throne Prince Akishino and Kiko, Crown Princess Akishino, on Monday as part of the Greek Prime Minister's official visit to Japan.
During the meeting at Akasaka Palace, the challenge of climate change and the green transition were discussed.
The Greek prime minister had the opportunity to explain Greece's initiatives, particular the GR-eco islands initiative which aims to transform the country's small non-interconnected islands into models of green economy, energy autonomy and digital innovations.
Mitsotakis signed a joint declaration of strategic cooperation between Greece and Japan with his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida.
The agreement is valued from the Greek side as particularly important, as it reactivates bilateral relations at the highest level and opens a new page, upgrading them to a strategic nature.
Mitsotakis said in a Facebook post on Sunday soon after his arrival in the country, where he is on an official visit, while stressing the importance of his visit, that Greece hopes to develop even closer ties with Japan.
"Good morning from Japan! It is an important visit to one of the largest economies in the world and one with which we hope to develop even closer relations," Mitsotakis said, reminding that Japanese institutions stopped investing in Greek bonds during the debt crisis due to their loss of investment grade.
"Now that we are on the doorstep before regaining it, this visit is more than just timely," he added, noting that a great number of visits were planned during the visit.
The post also reviewed the prime minister's activities during the previous week. Among them he mentioned actions to improve the access of elderly people in remote locations to mental health support, including support for those with Alzheimer's and dementia.
He also announced a significant increase in pensions for some 2.5 million pensioners, which he noted was the first time in 10 years that a majority of pensioners would see their pensions increase.
With respect to the economy, he welcomed the upgrade of Greece's credit rating by Fitch, noting that it was the 12th upgrade since 2019 and brought Greece on the verge of regaining an investment-grade rating after 13 years, which would lead to lower borrowing and debt servicing costs for the country.
Mitsotakis announced that a programme to subsidise rooftop photovoltaic installations by households, businesses and farmers was now in the final stages of implementation, with subsidies for 250,000 installations in total.
He also highlighted the news that the first manufacturing plant in the world to produce new-technology flexible and semi-transparent photovoltaic panels is to be located in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, as part of a major European programme.
The prime minister mentioned the upgrade of the LTFN nanatechnology laboratory at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki to a top-level research centre with a 30-million-euro budget via the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).
He concluded his message by referring to the linking of the Cyclades islands to the mainland electricity grid via an underwater cable, which will eliminate polluting power plants,
Mitsotakis also referred to his visit to Crete, where he had outlined the programme for developing and modernising the island's networks and infrastructure and increasing its environmentally protected areas.
Prime minister visiting Japan from Sunday until Tuesday
The prime minister is expected to highlight the good performance of the Greek economy in the face of multiple external crises during his visit to Japan between Sunday and Tuesday, 17 years after the last visit by a Greek prime minister, government sources said.
His meetings are expected to focus on improving bilateral relations and establishing a more systematic cooperation between the two countries.
They noted that Japan was a strong economy and a member of the G7, while both countries had a strong naval tradition and Greece can serve as a bridge for Japan to the EU and NATO, as well as the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans.
Mitsotakis is to meet the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Japan, Hiroyuki Hosoda, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, while he will also be received by the Crown Prince Akishino of Japan, accompanied by his spouse.
He is also scheduled to make two presentations regarding the Greek economy for Japanese businesses and to deliver a speech at Tokyo University.
The prime minister is accompanied on his visit by Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis and Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis and a 20-member business delegation.
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