January 10, 2014
On Friday, January 9 local time, for approximately 1 hour from 11:00 a.m., Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida, and Japanese Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera, who are visiting France, held the Japan-France Foreign and Defense Ministers’ Meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the French Republic H.E. Mr. Laurent Fabius, and Minister of Defense of the French Republic H.E Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian.

In June last year, during his visit to Japan as a state guest, French President Francois Hollande and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a decision to hold Foreign and Defense Ministers’ Meetings, and, based on the agreement, the first meeting was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France. The result of the meeting was released as a joint statement, which is outlined below:

Joint Statement of Foreign and Defense Ministers of Japan and France: Outline

Shared recognition at the meeting

  • The four ministers confirmed Japan and France share the same values and commit themselves to the prohibition of the use of force, recognized each other as exceptional partners, and expressed their determination to promote cooperation between them.
  • The Japanese Ministers stressed Japan is committed to working more actively for regional and global peace and stability from the standpoint of “proactive contribution to peace.” The two French Ministers welcomed Japan’s determination.
  • The four ministers acknowledged the importance of the contributions of France, as a nuclear state, and Japan to nuclear disarmament efforts.
  • The four ministers confirmed the importance of easing tensions in Asia, especially the East China Sea, and that of peaceful resolution of disputes through dialogue in accordance with international law. They also confirmed their commitment to the exercise of freedom of navigation and overflight.
  • The four ministers strongly urged North Korea to renounce all its nuclear programs and ballistic missiles, and respond quickly to the abductions issue and other issues.
  • The four ministers confirmed their support for the development of Afghanistan, and the importance of the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (TMAF).
  • The four ministers welcomed the agreement reached last November between Iran and EU3 + 3.
  • The four ministers shared concerns about the humanitarian situation in Syria and welcomed the holding of the Geneva II Conference.
  • The four ministers strongly condemned terrorist attacks that had occurred recently in Africa, and expressed their strong concerns about the situations in South Sudan and Central African Republic.
  • The four ministers stressed the importance of ensuring the freedom, openness, use for peaceful purposes and the safety of the seas, and in particular reiterated the importance of maintaining freedom of the high seas in accordance with international law. They shared the view on the importance of freedom to fly over the high seas and exclusive economic zones, and the safety of civil aviation. In addition, they confirmed the importance of building a secure and reliable cyberspace, and that of freedom of access to outer space, among others.

Concrete cooperation to pursue

  • Japan and France have set up a framework (committee) for dialogues on cooperation in the field of defense equipment and the control of exports.
  • Japan and France will discuss specific projects for cooperation in the field of defense equipment, and work towards a relevant intergovernmental arrangement.
  • The four ministers confirmed the importance of cooperation in the following areas:
  • Strengthening cooperation between the two countries on maritime safety and the fight against piracy off Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden;
  • Sending observers regularly from the Self-Defense Forces of Japan to attend training for humanitarian or disaster assistance organized by the French Armed Forces units stationed in the South Pacific;
  • Enhanced cooperation in peacekeeping and peace consolidation, particularly in Africa, in particular by supporting training activities for peacekeeping operations;
  • Exchange of information and consultation with regard to the safety of citizens through the respective diplomatic missions abroad; and
  • Cooperation in the field of assistance for capacity building in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.
  • The four ministers decided to hold the next round of talks in Japan in 2015.

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