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Intervento dell’Ambasciatore d’Italia, Gianluigi Benedetti, in occasione del Seminario Kiwi (Tokyo, 13 novembre 2023)

President Stefano BONACCINI, Mr. Shoichi FUJITA, Mr. Bruno Caio FARAGLIA, Mr. Alessio MAMMI, Ms. Simona RUBBI, Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon and welcome to the Embassy of Italy in Tokyo.


I am very glad to open this seminar on the very first day of Regione Emilia Romagna institutional mission to Japan, in the context of a broader strategy of the Region aiming at strengthening ties worldwide and supporting business and industry developments, academic bilateral relations and investments opportunities in Italy and Japan.


This mission falls in a “golden year” for the Italy-Japan relationship. Numerous Italian delegations of national and local Governments as well as trade missions, have been coming to Japan all over 2023.


This is a clear confirmation of the fact that the “strategic partnership” between Italy and Japan, launched last January by the two Prime Ministers Meloni and Kishida, is working very well and creating concrete opportunities for exchanges, meetings and collaborations in different areas.


Today’s initiative, focusing on the agri-food industry, and particularly on the produce of the kiwifruit is a follow up of the informal consultations during the G7 Agricultural Ministerial Meeting in Miyazaki, where Italy was represented by Minister Francesco LOLLOBRIGIDA, with a view of soon re-opening bilateral negotiations to allow the export of the Italian kiwifruit to Japan.


As you might know, the technical procedures and trials on the Italian green kiwifruit to test the effectiveness of the cold treatment against the Mediterranean fly were progressing very well until 2020, when they suddenly stopped.


Now, it is time to act and relaunch this process in order to ensure to our entrepreneurs the access to the Japanese market and to the Japanese consumers the opportunity to enjoy the extraordinary taste of the Italian kiwifruit.


In this regard, President Bonaccini’s presence today and the participation of MASAF and MAFF representatives confirm our determination to pursue this important objective, also keeping in mind that the Regione Emilia Romagna – together with Regione Lazio – accounts for roughly 50% of the whole Italian production of kiwifruit.


Let me conclude by taking this opportunity to invite our MAFF friends to visit the Italian kiwifruit orchards in the beautiful land of Emilia-Romagna – and, of course in the Lazio Region – as soon as possible, to take concrete steps to reopen the Japanese market to our kiwifruit.


Visiting Emilia Romagna – which is also worth for its touristic spots and its famous food and wine traditions – is the best and most practical way to taste the Italian kiwifruit and to learn first-hand about the effectiveness of Italy’s safety phytosanitary measures in the agri-food sector.


Grazie e buon lavoro.