September 24, 2014
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
On September 24, commencing at 9:45 a.m. for approximately 30 minutes, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is visiting New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, held a Japan-France Summit Meeting with H.E. Mr. François Hollande, President of the French Republic. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1. Bilateral relations

(1) At the beginning, Prime Minister Abe commented on an incident involving the abduction of a French citizen in Algeria, and told President Hollande that he hopes the captured French citizen will be released as quickly as possible. Prime Minister Abe also welcomed that Japan and France are building a solid cooperative relationship as exceptional partners, and conveyed his appreciation and gratitude for France’s hosting of the International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq and its dispatch of Deputy Minister of Women’s Rights Pascale Boistard to the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo (WAW! Tokyo 2014), which was held in Tokyo.

(2) In response, President Hollande stated he appreciated the opportunity to exchange views on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, and also mentioned that Japan and France enjoy a close relationship between their Foreign Ministers, and H.E. Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, is scheduled to visit Japan to attend the STS Forum as early as next week. President Hollande said significant progress is also being seen in the two countries’ economic relationship, and the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will be important for strengthening that further.

2. Situation in Iraq and Syria

(1) Prime Minister Abe stated that the existence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) poses a serious threat that destabilizes the overall international order, and that the Government of Japan supports the international community’s fight against ISIL, beginning with France and the United States, while explaining that on top of the 7.8 million US dollars Japan has contributed already, it has decided to newly provide support of approximately 25.5 million US dollars to Iraq and its neighbors as assistance for internally displaced persons and refugees.

(2) President Hollande explained that France has also dispatched its air force, and he noted the importance of material and political support as well as military support. He said the current situation requires a global response and he wants to work closely with Japan.

3. Situation in Ukraine

(1) Prime Minister Abe explained that the Government of Japan had on the same day imposed sanctions against Russia in the financial sector and banned exports of weapons to Russia. Prime Minister Abe pointed out that it will be necessary to put pressure on Russia’s activities via sanctions while persuading Russia through dialogue and involvement. In addition, he said the Government of Japan will provide economic support to Ukraine of up to 1.5 billion US dollars, which it has already pledged, and on top of that it has also decided to provide new support in order to improve the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ukraine.

(2) President Hollande responded that he appreciates the new sanctions imposed by Japan. He commented that despite the geographical distance, Japan and France are politically close countries, and he recognizes that it will be necessary for Japan and France to jointly encourage Russia to abide by international law.

4. Multilateral cooperation

The two leaders confirmed they will continue to cooperate closely on responses to common challenges facing the international community, including the United Nations Security Council reform in the run-up to the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the UN next year, measures against climate change in reference to the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) to be held in Paris in December next year, and the response to Ebola hemorrhagic fever.

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