Väino Reinart, Estonia’s new ambassador to Japan, presented his credentials to Emperor Akihito in a formal ceremony in the Tokyo Imperial Palace on Thursday, 13 December.
In the discussion that followed the ceremony, Ambassador Väino Reinart extended the heartfelt greetings of Kersti Kaljulaid, President of the Republic, to the Emperor of Japan.
Emperor Akihito gave his formal regards to the President of the Republic and to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and kindly recalled his visit to Estonia in 2007 as well as the choir singing tradition which he was able to experience in the course of the visit.
Hiromichi Watanabe, Reconstruction Minister, represented the Government of Japan in the presentation of credentials. The possibilities for further developing the relationships between Estonia and Japan were discussed in the meeting, and it was concluded that in terms of economic relations, cooperation in the fields of IT and digital services is highly promising. The Minister also thanked Estonia for the support in managing the consequences of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Having met the Emperor, Ambassador Reinart noted that opportunities for further advancement shall be available in the relationships between Estonia and Japan thanks to the Economic Partnership Agreement between Japan and the European Union that shall soon enter into force. “When the free trade agreement enters into force, customs tariffs on the majority of the goods currently exported from Estonia to Japan shall be abolished. Considering the present trade volumes, this shall result in a gain of approximately two million euros for Estonian manufacturers. For example, Japan has thus far imposed customs tariffs of up to 40 percent on numerous dairy and meat products. The possibilities for providing services on the Japanese market, as well as access to public procurements, shall likewise significantly improve,” said Ambassador Reinart.
Negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreement between Japan and the European Union were finalised in the margins of the World Trade Organisation Ministerial Summit in Buenos Aires in December 2017 during the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Ambassador Väino Reinart was born in Kuressaare on 28 December 1962. Reinart graduated from the Department of Automation and Engineering of the Tallinn University of Technology and opted for postgraduate studies in the field of physics in the Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics of the Estonian Academy of Sciences. Reinart has worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1992. He was the chief negotiator for Estonian-Russian negotiations and has worked as the Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Permanent Representative of Estonia to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Director General of the Political Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and as the Undersecretary for Political Affairs. Furthermore, Reinart has been the Estonian Ambassador to the European Union, the United States, Mexico, and Canada. From 2011-2018, Ambassador Reinart worked as the Undersecretary for Economic and Development Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has also been accredited as Ambassador to Afghanistan and the Holy See.
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