BRASILIA — Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto and his Brazilian counterpart, Antonio Patriota, agreed Thursday in Brasilia to ease visa conditions to boost bilateral business exchanges, the two sides said.
Matsumoto and Patriota agreed in their talks that Brazil will simplify the business visa application procedure and extend the period of its validity, while Tokyo will issue multiple visas available for up to three years to Brazilian businesspeople.
Brazil is the only major Latin American nation that requires Japanese to obtain visas, which are only available for 90 days and involve a lengthy process. Japanese companies have long complained about the visa requirement hampering business.
However, it remains unclear when Brazil will start issuing longer business visas, an official at the Foreign Ministry said in Tokyo.
The two ministers also confirmed that Brazil will soon resume imports of Japanese food, which have been suspended over radiation fears due to the ongoing nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, as the two countries agreed on the details of safety certificates to be attached to the products.
At a news conference, Matsumoto and Patriota expressed their intention to strengthen economic relations between Japan and Brazil.
Matsumoto also expressed Tokyo’s interest in reaching a free-trade agreement between Japan and Mercosur, a trade bloc comprising Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
The two ministers also signed documents for Japan to extend up to about ¥50 billion in loans to improve water supply infrastructure in the state of Sao Paulo and bus systems in the metropolitan area of Belem, northern Brazil.
Support for U.N. reforms
Brasilia — The foreign ministers of Brazil and Japan say more than 100 nations are supporting a proposal to expand the U.N. Security Council.
Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota says a reform proposal making the rounds at the U.N. shows a desire for change at the world body. It does not detail how the change would take place.
Japan and Brazil are working with Germany and India for all four to get permanent seats on the Security Council, joining the U.S., China, Russia, Britain and France.
There is widespread agreement at the U.N. that the council should be reformed, but the 192-member General Assembly has been unable to agree how for three decades.
Patriota and Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto met in Brazil on Thursday.
02 July 2011
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Japan, Brazil move to ease visa rules
Posted on July 6, 2011