Minister of Foreign Affairs to Visit China and Japan

(No. 122 - May 6, 2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that he will be visiting China and Japan from May 10 to 15. The Minister will engage in a number of high-level meetings aimed at broadening Canada's relations with its Pacific neighbours.

"I look forward to my first official visit to Northeast Asia," said Minister Cannon. "China and Japan are very important partners for Canada on the global stage, and it is crucial that we continue to deepen our cooperation on important bilateral and multilateral issues.

While in China, Minister Cannon will meet with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and other senior members of the Chinese government. He will also meet with leaders of Canadian businesses established in China, as well with as non-governmental stakeholders. In Shanghai, the Minister will participate in preparations for the Canadian Pavilion at Shanghai's 2010 World Expo.

"I will take advantage of my time in China and Japan to learn about the challenges and opportunities in their respective markets, and to share Canada's economic plans for addressing the global financial crisis.

"The world is also dealing with the difficult issues brought about by the recent H1N1 outbreak, and I look forward to discussing them further during this trip."

In Japan, Minister Cannon will meet with Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone, Canadian and Japanese business representatives as well as Japanese opinion leaders. Minister Cannon will also deliver a keynote address at the Japan National Press Club and pay a visit to Japan's Miraikan, an impressive exhibition centre for science and innovation in Tokyo.

Canada and Japan are celebrating 80 years of bilateral diplomatic relations. Japan is a key economic and security partner with whom Canada shares the values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. High-level visits contribute immeasurably to mutual ties.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874