The situation in Ukraine, cooperation with Latin America and the strength of bilateral relations between Spain and Japan are some of the issues on the agenda for the meeting Sunday between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Spanish counterpart and host, Mariano Rajoy.
Abe was welcomed by Rajoy in the northwestern Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela on one leg of his tour of six European countries with the aim - among other things - of coordinating a common position with the European Union and also within the G-7 with regard to Russia and the Ukrainian crisis.
Abe initially had not been scheduled to make a stop in Spain, but later it was included on the program as part of the preparations for a trip this year to several Latin American nations, Japanese officials told Efe.
Accompanied by their respective wives, Rajoy and Abe toured the most emblematic monuments and sites in Santiago de Compostela, to which thousands of pilgrims travel from all over the world each year to traverse the route of the apostle St. James.
At a gift-exchange ceremony, Rajoy expressed his confidence that the visit will serve to "strengthen relations" between the two countries, which - he said - share "many values."
Abe's five-hour sojourn in Santiago de Compostela is part of his nine-day tour of six European nations that will culminate on Wednesday in Brussels with the holding of the European Union-Japan summit.
On this European trip, the Japanese premier has already met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and with the British and Portuguese prime ministers, David Cameron and Pedro Passos Coelho, respectively, to examine different political and economic matters. He will next travel to France and Belgium.
The visit to Santiago de Compostela coincides with the celebration of the "dual year" of Spain and Japan commemorating the 400th anniversary of the first Japanese diplomatic mission to arrive on the Iberian peninsula in 1613. EFE