On the initiative of the Hungarian presidency of the Visegrad Group (V4), the Political Directors of the V4 countries' Ministries of Foreign Affairs visited Japan on the 1 February, within the framework of the V4-Japan cooperation. The foreign ministers decided on a regular V4-Japan cooperation at their meeting in May 2007. Biannual ministerial meetings are complemented by yearly meetings of heads of departments or state secretaries.
State Secretary Gábor Iklódy, the Hungarian Political Director, and his Czech, Polish and Slovak counterparts met Tetsuro Fukuyama, Secretary of State of the Foreign Ministry of Japan. The meeting was followed by consultations with leading officials of the European Directorate of the Japanese Foreign Ministry. The discussions focused on the perspectives and state of play of the V4-Japan cooperation, as well as current international and regional issues of mutual interest.
Under the auspices of the Hungarian V4 Presidency, special attention was given to tackling the effects of the economic and financial crisis and also to climate-, energy- and development assistance policies. During the talks in Tokyo, the projects of Eastern Partnership of the European Union and the reconstruction work in Afghanistan were identified as further fields of cooperation in the V4-Japan framework. Hungarian non-governmental aid organizations operating in Afghanistan have already been beneficiaries of substantial support from the Government of Japan. The talks also focused on the impact of Lisbon Treaty on the external relations of the EU, on current energy issues and on the assessment of the economic and security situation in Asia.
The parties agreed on closer consultation based on common values, with regard to international issues that figure on the agenda of the European Union as well.
Following the consultations, the Political Directors of the Visegrad Four gave a lecture on "The European Union after the Lisbon Treaty—from the viewpoint of Central and Eastern European countries" in the Japanese Institute of International Affairs.
The next meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the V4 and Japan will take place in Hungary during the Hungarian Presidency of the European Union in 2011.