HAVANA TIMES — The Cuban government has announced today that an agreement has been made that will see it regularize its debt with Japan, as part of the Caribbean island’s restructured payments to the Paris Club, DPA reports.
Government media didn’t specify just how much debt Cuba has racked up with Japan is, but recently, Japanese media have indicated that it’s around 1.75 billion USD, of which two thirds have been cancelled with this new agreement.
The document was signed by the Japanese Ambassador in Cuba, Maseru Watanabe, and the Cuban Government’s vice-president and Minister of Economy and Planning, Ricardo Cabrisas, the Cuban News Agency reports.
Japan joins the list of other countries that Cuba has already been able to renegotiate its debt with, like Austria, Spain, France, Holland, Italy, the UK, Denmark, Australia, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and Belgium.
Cuban authorities have claimed that these agreements facilitate the “path to funding projects linked to the country’s economic and social development plans.”
In December 2015, the Cuban government managed to reach an agreement with the 15 credit countries that make up the Paris Club in order to restructure its debt of 11.1 billion USD.
These creditors cancelled 8.5 billion USD worth of Cuba’s debt which corresponded to their own interests while Havana has promised to pay back the 2.6 billion USD that it owes.
Cuba’s agreement with Japan was signed today, in the days running up to the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe’s visit to Cuba, who will travel this week being the first time that a head leader of the Japanese government visits Cuba.
In May last year, the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fumio Kishida, made the first trip of any Japanese chancellor to the island, a visit where both countries agreed to extend their economic ties between their Governments and companies.