Japan-France Relations

May 26, 2017
Photo1: Japan-France Summit Meeting (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
Photo2: Japan-France Summit Meeting (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

 On May 26, commencing at around 6:15 p.m. for approximately 20 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, who is visiting Italy to attend the G7 Taormina Summit, held his first summit meeting with H.E. Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1. Opening remarks

 Prime Minister Abe welcomed President Macron’s first attendance at a G7 Summit and stated that he hoped to cooperate closely. President Macron responded that Japan and France shared the same values of freedom and democracy as well as a great deal in common on such areas as history, culture, economy and industry, and that he believed Japan and France would be able to cooperate diversely in a broad range of fields.

2. Bilateral relations

  • (1) The two leaders confirmed the progress in the field of security and defense in recent years, and shared the view that they would continue to promote the Acquisition and Cross-servicing Agreement (ACSA) negotiations, defense equipment and technology cooperation, and space cooperation.
  • (2) The two leaders confirmed that the recent visit by the French training task group “Jeanne d’Arc” to Japan and the joint exercise by Japan, France, the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the United States embodied this epoch-making progress of cooperation, and Prime Minister Abe stated that he would like to cooperate with France, which had territories in the Indo-Pacific, in order to keep the international order in the Indo-Pacific as global commons.
  • (3) The two leaders also confirmed that Japan and France would cooperate with regard to the Paris Agreement. In addition, they reconfirmed cooperation towards the success of “Japonism 2018”, and shared the view that they could both attend its opening ceremony. Furthermore, there was an exchange in which Prime Minister Abe requested President Macron’s visit to Japan at an early timing and President Macron accepted the invitation with pleasure.

3. Japan-European Union (EU) relations

  • (1) The two leaders shared the view that they would cooperate to realize an agreement in principle on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) at an early timing.
  • (2) With regard to the U.K.’s negotiations to exit the EU, Prime Minister Abe requested that consideration be given to transparency and predictability. He also requested cooperation on further eliminating the restrictions that the EU had imposed on the import of food products produced in Fukushima Prefecture and other areas. President Macron endorsed the importance of ensuring predictability in the negotiation process, and stated that it would be important for the U.K.’s exit from the EU to be stably managed.

4. Regional affairs

  • (1) With regard to North Korea, Prime Minister Abe explained Japan’s position on North Korea’s nuclear and missile problem, which constituted a new level of threat, and President Macron mentioned that he completely supported Japan’s position.
  • (2) In addition, the two leaders also exchanged views on the situation in Asia, relations with Russia, and the Japan-France cooperation in Africa.

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