Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday in Japan presented his country as one that has left behind the "somber perception" of its economy and that, after the reforms his government has implemented, is a ideal location in which to invest.

This is the message that Rajoy transmitted on the first day of his official visit to Japan.

The Spanish premier, who was received at an audience by Emperor Akihito, earlier met in private with representatives of Japan's leading companies and presided at a business meeting between the two countries.

At the latter event, he publicly summarized the arguments as to how and why Spain is recovering economically, saying that this has been possible thanks to the structural reforms his government has put in place, such as an overhaul of the labor market.

"It's already history" to speak of a possible bailout of Spain, and what is being talked about now is "how big the Spanish economy's recovery" is going to be, Rajoy said.

He devoted a special section of his remarks to enumerating the reasons why he believes that Spain has become the ideal place for countries to invest, noting in particular that it constitutes a gateway for investment in the European Union and the Mediterranean region.

"Foreign direct investment is returning to Spain," Rajoy said.

At the business meeting, Nissan executive Toshiyuki Shia praised the evolution of the Spanish economy and emphasized the work of his firm's factory in Barcelona, saying that if things continue along these lines it could become the chosen center for manufacturing new models.

Rajoy's visit, which comes amid the celebration of the Spain-Japan Dual Year commemorating the 400th anniversary of the start of diplomatic relations between the two countries, will wrap up on Thursday with a meeting with Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe. EFE