Japan-EU Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
On November 4, commencing at 8:25 p.m. until 10:05 p.m. (local time) for approximately one hour and 40 minutes, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan held a Japan- EU Foreign Ministers’ Meeting over dinner with Ms. Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission during his visit to Luxembourg to attend the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
Minister Kishida and High Representative Mogherini (Chair of the 12th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting) agreed to cooperate towards the success of the ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and exchanged views on the outcomes anticipated at the Meeting.
2. Regional affairs
(1) East Asia
Minister Kishida and High Representative Mogherini also exchanged views on the East Asia situation. Minister Kishida explained the Japan-China-Republic of Korea (ROK) Trilateral Summit Meeting, including that Japan, China and the ROK have a major responsibility for regional peace and prosperity as well as the stability of the international community. He expressed the view that restoring the cooperative process between Japan, China and the ROK through this summit was an extremely significant outcome, and Japan intends to continue this positive discussion to the summit next year which Japan will take chairmanship. High Representative Mogherini welcomed the holding of the Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit Meeting and expressed her support for the continuation of the process. Moreover, Minister Kishida explained Japan’s fundamental position on the recent East Asia situation, including the South China Sea and North Korea, and shared the recognition with High Representative Mogherini, on the importance of resolving issues on the basis of international law.
High Representative Mogherini stated that the situation in Syria is Europe’s most important challenge since it can also connect to issues such as terrorism and refugees, and explained the recent talks in Vienna. In response, Minister Kishida stated that he is carefully following the series of talks in Vienna and that Japan also intends to contribute to humanitarian support and political dialogue. The two sides agreed to reinforce exchange of information and to enhance cooperation.
Minister Kishida expressed his respect for High Representative Mogherini’s efforts in relation to negotiations with Iran, and explained his recent visit to Iran. He also welcomed that the “Adoption Day” for the final agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue had been reached, and stated that Japan intends to contribute to the framework of the final agreement and to cooperate with the EU in this regard.
High Representative Mogherini explained her recent visit to Kiev, and Minister Kishida explained that he continues to keep monitoring the situation in Ukraine. Minister Kishida expressed his intention that as the next G7 chair country, Japan will continue to attach importance to the solidary of the G7 and to contribute to the efforts for peaceful resolution of the situation in Ukraine, in cooperation with the EU.
3. Japan-EU Relations
(1) Minister Kishida and High Representative Mogherini shared the view that they will continue to hold dialogues and cooperate on security, economy and global challenges, as partners sharing common values. High Representative Mogherini highlighted that Japan will serve as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council from next year, as well as the G7 chair country next year, and stated that she hopes to undertake greater cooperation and coordination on the various issues of the international community.
(2) Minister Kishida explained the concept of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation, and the Legislation for Peace and Security that was enacted recently. High Representative Mogherini congratulated Minister Kishida on the enactment of the “Legislation for Peace and Security” and expressed her expectation that Japan will make further contributions to the peace and security of the international community.
(3) In addition, the two sides shared the view, based on the commitment made at this year’s Japan-EU Summit to pursue an agreement in principle on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) this year and the prompt conclusion of the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), to further accelerate the negotiations, while attaching importance to both speed and quality.
(4) In connection with a review by the EU of rules on importing food and other products produced in Fukushima Prefecture, Minister Kishida requested cooperation on the prompt adoption of the proposed rule amendment by the European Commission, and High Representative Mogherini explained the current state of the EU side’s considerations.