Japan-France Relations

April 15, 2015
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On Tuesday, April 14, commencing at around 5.30 p.m. local time (around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 15, Japan time) for approximately 45 minutes, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, who was visiting Lubeck, Germany to attend the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, held a foreign ministers’ meeting with Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of the French Republic. The overview is as follows.

1. Opening remarks

Minister Kishida stated said he was pleased to be meeting again one month after the Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held on the sidelines of the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March, and holding the ninth Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. In response, Minister Fabius expressed his gratitude for the welcome he received when he visited Japan.

Additionally, Minister Kishida expressed his gratitude for the support of the Government of France for the confirmation of the safety of Japanese at the time of the Germanwings aircraft crash that occurred in a mountainous region of southern France on March 24. Minister Fabius expressed his condolences to the victims of the accident.

2. Bilateral relations

Minister Fabius mentioned the possibility of a visit to Japan by Mr. Manuel Valls, Prime Minister of the French Republic, and said he wants concrete cooperation between Japan and France in the fields of defense equipment cooperation, the stability and development of Africa, and innovation. Minister Kishida welcomed the idea and said the visit to Japan by Prime Minister Valls, if realized, will be a good opportunity for advancing bilateral relations.

3. Japan-EU relations

The two ministers confirmed they will continue to cooperate on reaching an agreement in principle on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) this year. Furthermore, Minister Fabius expressed a positive attitude to relaxing and abolishing the EU's restrictions on imports of food and other products of Fukushima Prefecture.

4. Global challenges

(1) Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation

The two ministers confirmed they will cooperate toward the success of the NPT Review Conference at the end of this month.

(2) Counterterrorism

Minister Kishida noted the importance of border enforcement, including by utilizing passenger name records (PNRs), from the perspective of advancing international counterterrorism, and the two ministers confirmed they will work cooperatively on counterterrorism, including information exchange.

(3) Climate change

Minister Fabius requested cooperation toward the success of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the two ministers confirmed that they will work together on the adoption of a new framework that is fair and effective and in which all countries participate.

5. Regional affairs

(1) East Asia

The two ministers exchanged views on the East Asia situation.

(2) Iran

Minister Fabius explained the situation surrounding Iran, and Minister Kishida appreciated France's initiatives and wanted to continue the discussion in the G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting following their meeting.

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