On april 13, 2010 H.E. Alberto Vallarino, Minister of Economics and Finance of Panama arrived in Japan on an official visit to address several issues on the bilateral agenda between Panana and Japan, and to know at first hand matters about the administration of Japan’s Metro system and solid waste treatment.
The official visit began on april 14 with a mourning visit to Mr. Izumi Takashima, Vice-president of the Agency for the International Cooperation of Japan (JICA), where the Minister Vallarino exchanged views on Japanese cooperation in Panama. In the afternoon, Minister Vallarino met separately to Mr. Koichiro Gemba, President of the Financial Committee of the Lower House of the Parliament, and Mr. Naoki Minezaki, Vice-minister of Finance of Japan, with whom he discussed the possibility of an Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation between Panama and Japan. The Minister said to the Japanese officials that an agreement would contribute to increase trade between both countries. Furthermore, Minister Vallarino take the opportunity to visit Tokyo’s subway where received an explanation of its operation, making a tour in one of the stations.
On april 15th, the senior official attended a meeting with Mr. Ryosuke Tamakoshi, President of the Mitsubishi Financial Group, who assured Minister Vallarino that his group would be willing to arrange a financial facility with the Bank of Japan for the International Cooperation (JBIC), in case the consortium where Mitsubishi Corporation participates is selected. Likewise, the Minister held a lunch meeting with Mr. Mikio Sasaki, President of Mitsubishi Corporation and Member of the Advisory Board of the Panama Canal. At the headquarters of Mitsubishi Corporation, Minister Vallarino received an explanation of mass transportation systems and solid waste treatment, designed by the Company.
Continuing his agenda, on april 16, Minster Vallarino met with Mr. Hiroshi Watanabe, President of the Bank of Japan for the International Cooperation (JBIC), which appreciated by Japan’s financial cooperation for the sanitation of the Bay of Panama as well as for the expand of the Panama Canal. Mr. Watanabe pointed out that JBIC would be able to contribute with funding to the Metro of Panama in the event that Mitsubishi Corporation was selected to perform the work.
Subsequently, Minister Vallarino paid a visit to Mr. Koichi Takemasa, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, who reiterated the interest of Panama to negotiate an agreement to avoid double taxation between both nations. Mr. Takemasa said that Japan will study carefully the request of Panama in this regard.
The official visit to Japan concluded with a visit to the waste incineration plant, operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. During his meetings, Minister Vallarino was accompanied by H.E. Jorge Kosmas Sifaki, Ambassador of Panama to Japan and Mr. Mahesh Klemlani, Director of Public Credit of the Ministry of Economics and Finance.