Japan-Finland Relations

May 11, 2022
Prime Minister Kishida and Prime Minister Marin who shake hands facing straight at the camera The two leaders who shake hands with each other (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)
The state of Japan-Finland Summit Meeting Japan-Finland Summit Meeting (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)
Prime Minister Kishida and Prime Minister Marin who have a joint press announcement Joint Press Announcement (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)

On May 11, commencing at 6:05 p.m., for approximately 65 minutes, Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit with H.E. Ms. Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of the Republic of Finland, who is visiting Japan, followed by the signing ceremony of the Japan-Finland Working Holiday Agreement and the joint press announcement. Commencing at 7:35 p.m, the two leaders also had a working dinner for approximately 60 minutes. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1. Opening Remarks

Prime Minister Kishida expressed his heartfelt welcome to Prime Minister Marin's visit to Japan while the security environment in Europe is changing drastically and NATO membership is being deliberated by the Finnish Parliament. Prime Minister Kishida also pointed out his intention to further strengthen the relationship between Japan and Finland as strategic partners. In response, Prime Minister Marin expressed her gratitude for the invitation and her intention to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries, which share the same values and support the rules-based order.

2. Ukraine and Indo-Pacific

The two leaders shared the view that Russia's aggression against Ukraine undermines the very foundation of the international order and that the unity among the countries sharing fundamental values has never mattered more. The two leaders confirmed that the security of Europe and the Indo-Pacific is inseparable, and unilateral change of the status quo by force is absolutely unacceptable anywhere in the world. They affirmed that Japan and Finland will work together to realize a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific".
Prime Minister Kishida explained that Japan, in cooperation with the EU and other allies and like-minded partners, is implementing unprecedentedly strong sanctions against Russia and providing support for Ukraine, and is actively engaged in outreach to Asian countries. Prime Minister Marin highly appreciated such efforts by Prime Minister Kishida and Japan.

3. Bilateral Relations

  • (1) Prime Minister Marin stated that bilateral relations are in excellent state and that she would like to further promote cooperation in the areas of digitalization and advanced technologies such as 5G/6G. Prime Minister Kishida stated that bilateral economic relations have been developed in recent years in areas such as advanced technology and renewable energy since the EU-EPA came into effect. He also called for Finland's cooperation in the early lifting of EU restrictions on imports of Japanese food products.
  • (2) The two leaders welcomed the signing of the Working Holiday Agreement and concurred on further expanding a wide range of exchanges between the two countries.
  • (3) The two leaders confirmed that they will advance cooperation at the United Nations, including on Security Council reform, and Prime Minister Marin expressed support for Japan's becoming a permanent member of the Security Council. With regard to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, Prime Minister Kishida explained the importance of efforts towards a "world free of nuclear weapons," and the two leaders concurred on working together to achieve meaningful results at the NPT Review Conference in August.
  • (4) The two leaders also exchanged views on climate change and confirmed that they will strengthen cooperation to tackle it through collaboration between businesses of both countries in the field of renewable energy.
  • (5) The two leaders also exchanged views on women’s empowerment.

4. Regional Issues

  • (1) The two leaders shared strong concerns over the rapid and uncertain increase of the military power and activities in the region, in addition to the attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force in the East and South China Seas. They concurred on taking a united and resolute approach for the unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force and economic coercion. They also reaffirmed their continued cooperation in dealing with North Korea regarding its nuclear and missile issues including the launch of a series of ballistic missiles, as well as the abductions issue.
  • (2) Prime Minister Kishida showed his understanding that Finland is reviewing their traditional diplomacy with Russia and is discussing over the possibility of joining NATO, while he explained that Japan is also making a major shift in its policy toward Russia and is strengthening its own defense capabilities and the Japan-US alliance. In response, Prime Minister Marin explained the development in Finland regarding NATO membership.

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