Press statement by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán after his talks with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe
6 December 2019, Tokyo (東京)
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen,
The talks we have just had have been very stimulating and profound. We reviewed important questions related to the world’s military, security and economic transformation. This meeting took place in a friendly atmosphere, and introduced me to many new concepts and interrelationships, for which I’d like to thank the Prime Minister. Hungarian-Japanese relations have a special character, and a spiritual content. I am a veteran in politics; I was in the Hungarian parliament in 1990, when Hungary needed to be transformed. I clearly remember how little faith the world had in our ability to achieve this, but there was one country which never doubted us for a moment. That country was Japan: it did not immediately demand repayment of its loans, and even provided new ones; it brought developments to Hungary, helping Hungary to survive that extremely difficult economic situation – that extremely difficult period. Hungarians remember this, and we are grateful.
We also hold Japanese culture and civilisation in high esteem. In the mind and soul of a Hungarian, anything unique is always especially valuable, and we regard Japanese culture as unique and inimitable. This is why I am also personally committed to furthering Japanese-Hungarian cultural relations – a commitment I would also like to see being shared by younger generations. Therefore I am glad that there are 600 Japanese students – 400 of them medical students – at Hungarian universities, with the Hungarian state providing scholarships for 100 young Japanese people to study in Hungary. In Hungary we are familiar with Japan’s distinctive economic policy of “Abenomics”, which we are closely observing, and with which we wish you every success.Japan’s success is important for us, because Japan is the largest Asian investor in Hungary, and we believe that the more successful you are here in your home country, the larger your investments in Hungary will be. Today the Prime Minister assured me that Japan also has an interest in Hungary’s success, and that it is therefore ready to support modern technological investments in our country. Thank you for that.
We understand the scale and gravity of the North Korean nuclear threat, and we appreciate its impact on Japan’s security. Therefore today I assured the Prime Minister that Hungary will continue to be uncompromising in the demand for North Korea’s nuclear disarmament, and will be a reliable partner for Japan in promoting the preservation of peace in the region.
There is also one area in which there is keen competition between Japan and Hungary. This is a peaceful competition, but one that is important for us, and one in which we are currently leading by a nose: the competition for Olympic gold medals. We are proud that we have won more than 170 gold medals in the Summer Olympics; and while we wish Japan great success in the Olympic Games, in the Tokyo Olympics, we would like to win at least enough gold medals to prevent our Japanese friends from catching up with us.
Thank you for the opportunity to be here. I can inform you that I have invited the Prime Minister to Hungary. We have not welcomed a Japanese prime minister in Hungary since 1990. Hungarians believe that a long fast can be useful, but a fast that is too long can be dangerous. Therefore we ask the Prime Minister to visit us, and to join us in a major event celebrating the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between our two countries.