Meeting of Prime Minister Abe and French Prime Minister Valls
On October 5, commencing at 5:50 p.m. for approximately 35 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office with H.E. Mr. Manuel Valls, Prime Minister of the French Republic on the occasion of his visit to Japan. The overview is as follows.
This meeting between Prime Minister Abe and Prime Minister Valls followed a dinner that took place at the Kyoto State Guest House on October 3. On the occasion of this meeting, the (1) “Joint Declaration on Innovation by the Governments of Japan and France” (French (PDF) / Japanese (PDF) ) and (2) “Japan-France Plan for Sustainable Development, Health and Security in Africa” (French (PDF) / Japanese (PDF) ) were issued.
1. Opening remarks
Prime Minister Abe welcomed Prime Minister Valls on his first visit to Japan, and expressed his condolences over the flood damage that occurred on the outskirts of Nice in Southern France. In addition, Prime Minister Abe stated that ever since the “exceptional partnership”(French (PDF) / Japanese (PDF) ) between Japan and France was confirmed when H.E. Mr. Francois Hollande, President of the French Republic, visited Japan in 2013, high-level exchanges such as Prime Minister Abe’s visit to France last year and this visit to Japan by Prime Minister Valls had been realized, and he highly appreciated that the bilateral relationship is advancing steadily. In response, Prime Minister Valls expressed his gratitude for the welcome he received from Prime Minister Abe in Kyoto and Tokyo, and thanked him for his condolences over the flood damage. Prime Minister Valls also expressed his condolences over the murder of a Japanese citizen in Bangladesh.
Additionally, Prime Minister Valls stated that he hopes to deepen cooperation in all fields, including culture, education and research, language study and sports, including the Olympics and rugby. The two leaders affirmed that they will promote cooperation between Japan and France in a broad range of fields.
2. Bilateral relations
Prime Minister Abe and Prime Minister Valls shared the view that they will further strengthen the relationship of cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the three areas of innovation, nuclear energy cooperation, and cooperation in Africa.
(1) Japan-France Innovation Year
The two leaders welcomed the launch of the Japan-France Innovation Year, and shared the view that they will advance concrete cooperation in a variety of fields, and expand industrial cooperation and bidirectional investment.
(2) Nuclear energy cooperation
Prime Minister Abe appreciated that it was affirmed that close cooperation, including partnership in third-party countries, will be maintained between Japan and France, while ensuring the improvement of nuclear safety and nuclear non-proliferation at the meeting on nuclear energy cooperation that was held ahead of this meeting. Additionally, Prime Minister Valls stated that he hopes to deepen the strategic partnership between the two countries in the nuclear power field as well.
(3) Cooperation in Africa
Prime Minister Abe mentioned the release of the Japan-France Cooperation Plan, and expressed his intention to strengthen Japan-France cooperation in Africa in such fields as urban development, health and improvements of public order. Prime Minister Valls stated that the Japan-France Cooperation Plan is extremely important, and indicated that cooperating in Africa will also contribute to future efforts to address refugee issues.
Prime Minister Abe explained that the Legislation for Peace and Security had been approved in Japan, and he intends to further strengthen security cooperation with France. Prime Minister Valls replied that he welcomes that Japan is trying to take a more proactive role in realizing regional and global stability.
The two leaders shared the view that they will further strengthen cooperation between Japan and France in the security field, including defense equipment.
4. Counterterrorism, and the issue of refugees and migrants from the Middle East
Prime Minister Abe expressed his support for the fight against ISIL being waged by the international community, including France. Additionally, Prime Minister Abe explained that based on the spirit of “the best way is to go in the middle,” Japan will provide 26 million USD of new assistance to Iraq, Syria and neighboring countries.
The two leaders also discussed the issue of the refugees and migrants flowing into Europe from the Middle East and elsewhere. Prime Minister Abe expressed his solidarity with the responses being made by countries in Europe, and explained that Japan is strengthening its support for Syrian and Iraqi refugees and internally displaced persons, and is implementing approximately 810 million USD of assistance this year. Prime Minister Abe explained that Japan will also coordinate with international organizations to provide 2.5 million USD of new assistance to countries neighboring the European Union (EU). Prime Minister Valls expressed his gratitude for Japan’s assistance.
5. Climate change and disaster reduction
Prime Minister Abe expressed his respect for France’s leadership as the chair country for the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21). The two leaders shared the view that they will work together for a successful COP21.
6. Ise-Shima G7 Summit
Prime Minister Abe requested the cooperation of France so that the G7 members, which share fundamental values, will be able to deliver powerful messages at the Ise-Shima Summit in Japan. In response, Prime Minister Valls stated that he intends to cooperate by supporting Japan, which is the chair country.
7. Japan-EU relations
Prime Minister Abe explained that he will make every effort to pursue an agreement in principle on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) during this year. He also requested cooperation on early easing restrictions on importing food and other items from Japan, including those from Fukushima Prefecture.