On Monday 19 March, Dr. Paula Risikko, Speaker of Parliament, Republic of Finland, who was in Japan at the invitation of the House of Councillors, visited the House of Representatives with her delegation and met with Mr. Tadamori Oshima, Speaker; Mr. Hirotaka Akamatsu, Vice-Speaker; and Mr. Keiji Furuya, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Rules and Administration.
Speaker Oshima began by welcoming the delegation to Japan, congratulating on the 100th anniversary of independence Finland celebrated last year. Referring to this January's New Year's Speech by the Finnish President, H.E. Mr. Sauli Niinistö, in which the President mentioned threats posed by North Korea, Speaker Oshima expressed his hope that Japan and Finland would continue cooperating in addressing international issues including those related to North Korea. He also stated that he hoped to have the parliament contribute toward the progress of the strategic partnership between the two countries.
In reply, thanking Mr. Oshima for his welcome, Dr. Risikko also appreciated his congratulations on her country's centennial of independence. She suggested that parliamentary exchanges be further increased, and she hoped that Japan and Finland would continue to work together on issues faced by the two countries, including declining birthrates and aging populations.