Japan-France Relations

March 20, 2017
photo1:Japan-France Summit Meeting (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
Photo2:Japan-France Summit Meeting (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
Photo3:Japan-France Summit Meeting (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
On Monday, March 20, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, who is visiting France, held a Japan-France summit meeting with H.E. Mr. Francois Hollande, President of the French Republic at the presidential palace. The overview of the meeting is as follows. The summit meeting commenced at 7:00 p.m. (local time) and lasted for approximately 45 minutes, after which the leaders had a joint press announcement and dinner together.

1. Opening remarks

(1) Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s solidarity with the security measures being taken by France following the previous week’s incidents at the IMF’s office and at Paris Orly Airport. He further stated that Japan and France were “exceptional partners” which share a global responsibility to respond to issues facing the international community, and that through close cooperation with President Hollande, the friendly relations between Japan and France had gained a new extension and strategic character.
(2) In response, President Hollande welcomed Prime Minister Abe’s visit to France, and stated that he would like to further promote the “exceptional partnership” between the two countries. He also stated that France recognized Japan’s concerns with regard to the South China Sea and also the threat posed by North Korea.

2. Bilateral relations

(1) The two leaders welcomed a declaration on nuclear power cooperation signed by Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and H.E.Ms Ségolène Royal, Minister of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs, responsible for International climate Relations of France, as well as the agreement concerning investment in New Areva signed by Japanese companies, both of which took place after the summit meeting. The two leaders confirmed that they would advance further nuclear cooperation in the future.
(2) With regard to the Indo- Pacific Ocean, Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan would like to closely cooperate with France for the stability and prosperity of the region by maintaining the vast maritime region encompassed by the Indo-Pacific Ocean region as global commons and ensuring a free and open maritime order. He also stated that Japan would like to explore the possibilities of the provision of capacity-building assistance together with France for coastal states in the region in such fields as maritime security and counterterrorism. From this perspective, the two leaders confirmed that they would further deepen security and defense cooperation, including through the implementation of joint exercises by Japan, France, the United Kingdom and the United States in the Asia-Pacific region including Guam, on the occasion of the visit of the French training task group “Jeanne d’Arc” to Japan at the end of April and the dispatch of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s patrol aircrafts to the International Aerospace Exhibition to be held in Paris in the midst of June.
(3) The two leaders confirmed their intention to promote their cooperation in Africa in line with the three pillars, namely, sustainable development, health, and security.
(4) The two leaders confirmed that they would continue to cooperate towards the success of “Japonism 2018,” an event which is to gather and demonstrate the spirit of Japanese culture on a large scale in France in 2018.

3. Japan-EU relations

(1) Prime Minister Abe stated that as the international community entering a “time of change,” unwavering collaboration between Japan, Europe and the United States on the security and economic fronts was more necessary than ever before to maintain a free and open international community. The Prime Minister also stated that a strong Europe would be good for the world and that Japan would support steady and strong moves to advance European integration. In addition, the two leaders affirmed that they would achieve an agreement in principle on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) of an early timing. Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe requested the elimination of restrictions on the import of food products produced in Fukushima Prefecture and other areas.
(2) Concerning the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, Prime Minister Abe requested that consideration be given to ensure that the impact of withdrawal on the activities of Japanese companies can be kept to a minimum.

4. Global issues and regional situations

(1) With regard to climate change, the two leaders confirmed that Japan and France would cooperate to maintain momentum following the entry into force of the Paris Agreement and work towards the formulation of implementation guidelines under the agreement.
(2) With regard to North Korea, the two leaders confirmed that the effectiveness of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions should be ensured, considering the recent ballistic missile launches by North Korea.
(3) Concerning the situation in the East China Sea and South China Sea, the two leaders confirmed that Japan and France would cooperate closely to maintain the international order based on the rule of law.
(4) With regard to Russia and Ukraine, the two leaders confirmed that Japan and France would continue to urge both sides to implement the Minsk Agreements.
(5) The two leaders confirmed the importance of cooperation between Japan, Europ and the United States towards the resolution of these regional and global issues.

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