150 years: a milestone in diplomatic relations
Switzerland and Japan have concluded four days of events marking a treaty of friendship and commerce, signed 150 years ago on February 6, 1864.
The original document, seen here, is in the Swiss Federal Archives.
Swiss President Didier Burkhalter has been in Japan for the anniversary celebrations, which started in the presence of Japanese Emperor Akihito. Burkhalter’s programme included official talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.
Japan is Switzerland’s fourth-largest global trading partner and its second-largest trading partner in Asia. In a media conference in Tokyo on Thursday, Burkhalter said that economic relations between the two nations could be improved further. Cooperation in science was also a priority, he added.
Asked about tensions between Japan and its neighbours, Burkhalter underscored Switzerland’s neutrality and said in comments reported by the Swiss news agency, that the country would be willing to play a mediation role in dialogue between North Korea and Japan if so wished.
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