Japanese Deputy Prime Minister pledges ongoing support to the WCO
During his visit to Japan, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General, met with Mr. Taro Aso, Japanese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, on 1 September 2020.
Deputy Prime Minister Aso expressed his appreciation for the WCO’s work during the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As Japan entered the post-Prime Minister Abe period, Mr. Aso offered assurances that Japan's policy of international engagement and support to international organizations, including the WCO, would continue. Dr. Mikuriya thanked him for this pledge to ensure Japan remained a stable and reliable partner of multilateral institutions, including through its recent financial contribution to the WCO’s COVID-19 Project.
Secretary General Mikuriya also had a series of meetings with senior government officials in the Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs. They discussed ways of increasing the efficiency, effectiveness and visibility of Customs (and the WCO) as a critical institution at borders, having a significant effect on the implementation of major policy areas.
Dr. Mikuriya also had a meeting with Dr. Shinichi Kitaoka, President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to evaluate the WCO/JICA Joint Project on Trade Facilitation in Africa and to extend its work to the Pacific, in line with the WCO's Small Island Economies initiative.