Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic on Thursday asked his Japanese counterpart Toro Kono to keep opposing Kosovo’s membership in international organizations.
Speaking after their meeting in Belgrade, Dacic said he told Kono that Serbia appreciates the fact that Japan abstained in the vote on Kosovo’s membership in UNESCO and Interpol even though it has recognized it. “I asked Kono for Japan to maintain that stand,” he said.
The Japanese Foreign Minister said that his country views the stability of the Western Balkans as a strategic issue and welcomes Serbia’s contribution to the peace and stability of the region.
The two ministers said that trade relations between the two countries were good, adding that Serbia is attractive to Japanese investors. According to Dacic, Japan has given Serbia 507 million Euros in financial aid over the past 20 years.
Speaking after the meeting, Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Jun Saito said that official Tokyo is demanding that Kosovo revoke the 100 percent tariffs on Serbian goods. “We are calling Pristina to revoke the 100 percent tariffs on goods from Serbia as soon as possible. Japan welcomes the restrained reaction of Serbia and its determination to resolve the Kosovo issue,” Ministry Deputy Press Secretary Saito told a news briefing. “Japan realizes that this is a difficult process but hopes that Serbia will continue playing a constructive role in achieving peace and stability in the region,” he said.