Japan-Germany Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
April 23, 2018
On April 23, commencing at 12:10 p.m. (1:10 a.m. on April 24, Japan time) for approximately 25 minutes, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, who was visiting Toronto, Canada to attend the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, held his first face-to-face foreign ministers’ meeting with H.E. Mr. Heiko Maas, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
Minister Maas stated that he is pleased to be able to hold a bilateral meeting in addition to the discussion at the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and the two ministers shared the view that they will exchange opinions closely on the various challenges which the international community faces. Minister Maas also indicated that he intends to visit Japan in the near future.
2. Bilateral relations and Japan-European Union (EU) relations
(1) The two ministers confirmed that they will cooperate on further developing the Japan-Germany relationship through DAIKU2018, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first performance in Japan of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (“Daiku” in Japanese) this year.
(2) Minister Kono stated that Japan attaches importance to European unity and requested that transparency and predictability be ensured in the United Kingdom’s exit process from the EU.
(3) Minister Kono explained the “Western Balkans Cooperation Initiative” proposed by Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan during his visit to Europe in January, and Minister Maas welcomed Japan’s contributions to the Western Balkan countries, which aim to join the EU. On that basis, the two ministers shared the view that Japan and Germany will cooperate on supporting reform in the Western Balkan countries.
(4) The two ministers shared the view that the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) will contribute to strengthening the economic and political relationship between Japan and the EU, and confirmed that they will cooperate on having the Japan-EU EPA and SPA signed and brought into force promptly.
3. Regional affairs and cooperation in the international arena
The two ministers also discussed regional affairs and cooperation in the international arena, and in particular, they shared the view that as G4 countries, Japan and Germany will work closely together to realize United Nations Security Council reform.