Fidel and Raul Castro Meet in Havana with Japan’s Shinzo Abe

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Fidel Castro met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Photo: Alex Castro/granma.cu

HAVANA TIMES – The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, met separately on Thursday with Cuban President Raul Castro and his brother and former president Fidel Castro on a visit to the island to revive bilateral ties, reported dpa news.

Abe was received with military honors at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana and later held a closed-door meeting with the Cuban president, according to state television images.

The two leaders also witnessed the signing of an agreement that formalized the delivery of a donation from the Japanese government of medical equipment for the main Cuban hospitals.

The meeting with Fidel Castro took place at a time on Thursday without specifying the private residence of former Cuban president, who received him with his usual sportswear.

The meeting was considered a “frank dialogue” in which the two discussed “the dangers affecting the world,” according to a typical official note without any details.

Shinzo Abe and Fidel Castro stressed the need to “work for the preservation of peace,” said Cuban television, which showed pictures of the meeting.

Shinzo Abe also met behind closed doors with President Raul Castro. Photo: Estudios Revolucion
Shinzo Abe also met behind closed doors with President Raul Castro. Photo: Estudios Revolucion

Before his arrival in Cuba, Abe gave an interview to the official newspaper “Granma” in which he said he hoped his visit “will become an opportunity to open a new page in the relations of friendship between the two nations.”

Earlier this week, the governments of Cuba and Japan announced an agreement for the restructuring of Cuban debt under which Tokyo pardoned 65 percent of the debt of 1.781 billion dollars.

Under the agreement, Havana must pay 606 million dollars, of which 249 million will be allocated to a fund for Japanese companies on the island.

Nearing the end of his 24-hour visit on Friday Abe held a press conference at the Hotel Nacional were he said: “Japan is going to contribute to the development of Cuba both in the public and private sectors.  Abe’s visit was the first ever by a Japanese head of government to Cuba.


6 thoughts on “Fidel and Raul Castro Meet in Havana with Japan’s Shinzo Abe

  • September 26, 2016 at 7:25 am
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    As much as your comments makes me wonder how you feel about Cuba, and expression of your analysis regarding Japanese visiting Cuba would be rare but you might be surprised how much Japanese love to visit places they haven’t.

  • September 25, 2016 at 12:43 pm
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    I was there in June/ July 2015 & 2016 & noticed that casa & taxi prices have increased dramatically in just 1 year & that’s the low season!

  • September 24, 2016 at 7:58 pm
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    Excellent analysis and prognostication.

  • September 23, 2016 at 6:11 pm
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    As the average Japanese only receives 9 days holidays including days travelling,, they are unlikely to flock to Cuba. It is that short holiday that accounts for them visiting Alberta to see the Rockies and Banff (street names in Japanese) and the North Western Territories to see the Northern Lights in all their glory.
    I thing Gordon that especially in Trinidad de Cuba, the spurt in the number of casa particulars and paladars is largely over with over 350 casas. Vinales also has a very extensive number.
    It is probable that an increase in tourists will lead to inflation. But that is a two edged sword as it will diminish even further the value of the average Cubans earnings, also increases in hotel charges could lead to a reduction in Canadian package tourists who would readily switch to going to Cancun in Mexico.

  • September 23, 2016 at 4:34 pm
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    As expected, the visit was designed to extend the Castro regime’s begging bowl. However the Japanese obviously realise from their previous experience that lending to Cuba is a loss leader and hence the donation of medical equipment – they will no doubt be expected to pay for its maintenance.
    Nice suit Raul, not so sure about the tie!

  • September 23, 2016 at 11:22 am
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    My area of Canada has many tourists from Japan and I expect to see a lot more in Cuba shortly. This year over 100 million Chinese will vacation outside of Cuba. I believe Cuba will be very busy in 2017 with a lot more tourists from the US and Asia. Resort prices will go up and many new casa particulars will be allowed.

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