Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
1. Opening remarks
(1) Minister Le Drian stated that he was pleased to be able to meet again following the Japan-France Foreign and Defense Ministers’ meeting (“2 + 2”) held in Tokyo in January this year, and noted that a constructive discussion had taken place at that meeting. He stated that Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, would be visiting France in July this year, and expressed his intention to further advance the bilateral relationship.
(2) In response, Minister Kono explained that this year is an important year for the Japan-France relation, and if circumstances permit, Prime Minister Abe would visit France to attend the opening ceremony for “Japonism 2018”. Minister Kono conveyed expectation that H.E. Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of France, would visit Japan in the near future.
2. Bilateral relations
(1) The two ministers confirmed that they would coordinate more closely toward prompt finalization of the negotiations on the Japan-France Acquisition and Cross-servicing Agreement (ACSA), on which a broad agreement was reached in January this year.
(2) The two ministers also shared the view that strengthening cooperation in the maritime field, including ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific, was important.
(3) The two ministers confirmed that as next year’s chair for G7 (France) and G20 (Japan), they would coordinate further closely for the success of the series of related meetings.
3. Regional affairs
(1) With regard to the North Korea situation, the two ministers shared the view that a nuclear-armed North Korea would never be accepted, and that Japan and France would continue to work closely together, including by continuing maximum pressure campaign, in order to realize that North Korea abandons all weapons of mass destruction and all ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. Additionally, the two ministers confirmed the importance of addressing together North Korea’s evading sanctions including “ship-to-ship transfer”. Furthermore, Minister Kono requested understanding and cooperation for promptly resolving the abductions issue.
(2) The two ministers also discussed regional affairs, including the situation in Syria, and confirmed that Japan and France would continue to exchange views closely.