Japan-France Relations

September 25, 2019
  1. The 1st Japan-France Comprehensive Maritime Dialogue was held in Nouméa on 20 September 2019.
  2. This meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Kunihiko KAWAZU, Deputy Director-General, European Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr. Hisataka HIRAGOCHI, Director General, National Ocean Policy Secretariat of Japan, Mr. Denis ROBIN, Secretary General for the Sea of the French Republic and Mr. Serge SEGURA, Ambassador in charge of the Oceans, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic, with the participation of officials from, on the Japanese side, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), National Ocean Policy Secretariat, National Security Secretariat (NSS), Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Minister of the Environment (MOE), Ministry of Defense (MOD), Japan Coast Guard (JCG), Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), and on the French side, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE), Secretariat General of the Sea (SGMer), General Secretariat for Defense and National Security (SGDSN), Ministry of Armed Forces (MINARM), Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI), Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition (MTES), and National Institute for Ocean Science (IFREMER).
  3. During this dialogue, the two sides exchanged views on the activities and the potential for cooperation in the field of ocean governance, environment, maritime security, blue economy and science. The two sides sought ways to implement their partnership as stated in the Japan-France Roadmap (2019-2023) adopted on the occasion of their June 2019 Summit meeting, particularly in regard to the Japan-France Partnership in the Indopacific and its three pillars (a) freedom of navigation and maritime security, (b) climate change, environment and biodiversity, and (c) quality infrastructure.
    Participants in the dialogue decided to explore ways:
    • To make an arrangement for sharing of maritime security information between Japan Coast Guard and Secretariat General for the Sea of the French Republic and to start exchanging the information under the arrangement,
    • To collaborate when Japanese and French vessels will conduct activities together,
    • To explore opportunities to conduct joint exercises after the successful “La Perouse” exercise among France, Japan, the US and Australia in May 2019,
    • To explore Japan-France cooperation in capacity building in Indian and Pacific Ocean coastal States while also keeping in mind the EU programs,
    • To enhance dialogue on anti-piracy measures in the Gulf of Guinea, including MDA,
    • To enhance collaboration to implement measures to combat the marine plastic litter through G7 and G20,
    • To enhance the collaboration in ocean science and technology under the MOU between JAMSTEC and IFREMER, and others involving CNRS, IRD and universities on both sides in particular regarding deep sea in the Southern Pacific and exploring ways to develop cooperation for research in polar areas.
  4. Furthermore, the Japanese side requested the French side to participate actively in Pacific Climate Change Center (PCCC) built through Japanese cooperation in Samoa and in the Follow-up meeting of the G20 Implementation Framework for Actions on Marine Plastic Litter organized by Japan and raised the potential for cooperation with France at the International Conference on Climate Change and Fragility in the Asia-Pacific Region. The French side requested the Japanese side to participate in the Joint Pacific Initiative for Biodiversity, Climate Change and Resilience, and encouraged Japan to attend the 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas to be held in April 2020 in Nouméa. The two sides will consider the appropriate way to response to each request.
  5. The two sides confirmed that they will continue to undertake close communication about ocean governance in international fora such as the negotiations on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), the negotiations in the international organizations for the Ocean such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and activities of the international community related to the UNCLOS which is regarded by the two sides as the main pillar of international law of the seas and must be defended as such.
  6. The second Japan-France Comprehensive Maritime Dialogue will be held in Japan next year.

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