Japan-France Foreign Ministers' Meeting
January 19, 2015
1. Opening remarks
(1) Minister Fabius stated that the friendly relationship between Japan and France is bound by a deep and exceptional partner relationship. He explained that France is facing difficult circumstances as a result of suffering the terrorism attack, and expressed gratitude for the solidarity demonstrated and expressed by Japanese Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, as well as Minister Kishida’s visit to Charlie Hebdo’s offices and offering of flowers. Minister Fabius also said he is scheduled to visit Japan in the near future, and it will be necessary for Japan and France to work together and show resolve in the fight against terrorism.
(2) Minister Kishida said France is the first destination of his visits to foreign countries this year, and explained that he recently visited the site of the terrorist attack with Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Mr. Christian Masset, and along with extending Japan’s condolences to the victims and their families, expressed Japan’s solidarity with France. He also noted that Japan strongly condemns this attack, which challenges freedom of expression and press as well as the fundamental values and cannot be justified for any reason, that nothing comes from a chain of violence and hatred, and moderation and pluralistic values must be respected. Minister Kishida said based on the “exceptional partnership” between Japan and France, Japan wants to cooperate with France and the international community while engaging in the fight against terrorism.
2. Bilateral relations
(1) The fight against terrorism
(i) Minister Kishida expressed that the latest attack, like the tragic terrorism attack in Algeria exactly two years ago to which citizens of both Japan and France fell victims, heightens his conviction that the fight against terrorism is a challenge that the international community should continue to address all its strength, and he proposed further enhancing consultations with French officials in charge of counterterrorism. In addition, with regard to the problem of foreign terrorist combatants, Minister Kishida explained that Japan took measures to combat terrorism financing and implemented immigration controls in compliance with the United Nations Security Council’s resolution of September last year. He stated that Japan wants to cooperate as much as possible, including extending new assistance of approximately 7.5 million U.S. dollars via international institutions to support the strengthening of investigation, prosecution and border control capabilities for Iraq and its neighboring countries.
(ii) In response, Minister Fabius mentioned security-related issues such as information exchanges to tighten monitoring of people’s movements, weapons control, fundraising control and regulation of the Internet, explaining the need for a multifaceted effort that includes the economy, society and education, the need for the general mobilization of foreign policy, and France’s intention to cooperate within the EU and with Japan, the U.S. and the international community.