Japan-France Relations

July 14, 2018
Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
On July 14, commencing at 8:30 a.m. (3:30 p.m. Japan time) for approximately 50 minutes, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, who was visiting the French Republic, held a Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on a breakfast style with H.E. Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1. Opening remarks

Minister Kono expressed gratitude for France’s understanding that Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, had to postpone his visit in order to devote himself to the major damage caused by heavy rain. Minister Kono also stated that he would like to further strengthen the “exceptional partnership” between Japan and France together with Minister Le Drian. In response, Minister Le Drian extended his condolence to the victims of the disaster. Referring to the opening ceremony for “Japonism 2018” held in Paris on July 12, Minister Le Drian expressed France’s intention to hold a similar cultural event in Japan.

2. Bilateral relations

(1) The two ministers, as “Pacific Islands nations”, welcomed the participation of New Caledonia and French Polynesia, in the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) for the first time, and shared the view that they would work closely towards a free and open Indo-Pacific based on the rule of law.

(2) The two ministers shared the view that they would establish a comprehensive maritime dialogue between Japan and France, and they welcomed a seminar that is scheduled to be held in Tokyo in December this year as the first stage of the dialogue.

(3) The two ministers also welcomed the signing of the Japan-France Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (Japan-France ACSA) as the foundation for defense cooperation, and confirmed that Japan and France would build up concrete cooperation in the security and defense fields.

(4) Furthermore, the two ministers welcomed the opening of “Japonism 2018,” and confirmed that the relationship between the two countries would be strengthened on the cultural aspect.

(5) The two ministers also welcomed that the Japan-France relationship has been deepening in a wide range of fields, including the digital field, such as innovation and start-up policies.

3. G20/G7

The two ministers confirmed that Japan and France would work closely together as the G20 and the G7 chairs in 2019, respectively, and would lead responses to the various issues facing the international community, including the North Korea issue and global challenges.

4. Regional and international situations

(1) With regard to international trade, the two ministers confirmed that they would cooperate closely in order to promote maintenance and strengthening of trade systems based on free and fair rules.

(2) With regard to the North Korea situation, the two ministers shared the view that it would be necessary to maintain the full implementation of sanctions based on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions in order to realize the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all weapons of mass destruction. Minister Kono also explained the importance of promptly resolving the abductions issue.

(3) The two ministers exchanged views on regional situations, including the situation in Iran.

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