Japan-France Summit Meeting (Working Lunch)
On October 17, commencing at 1:50 p.m. (8:50 p.m. on October 17 Japan time) for approximately 75 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, who was visiting France, held a summit meeting (working lunch) with H.E. Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
1. Opening Remarks
- (1) President Macron expressed gratitude for Prime Minister Abe’s visit to France, as well as gratitude for his condolences for the heavy rain damage in Aude in southern France. In response, Prime Minister Abe said that it was unfortunate that his visit to France planned for July to attend the opening ceremony of Japonismes 2018 and the Bastille Day ceremony was unavoidably cancelled in order to respond to the heavy rain damage in western Japan, but that he was very pleased to be able to visit Paris this time.
- (2) Both leaders confirmed that mutual leader visits during this year, the 160th anniversary of Japan-France diplomatic relations, rapidly deepened bilateral relations between the two countries. Japan and France will hold the Presidency of the G20 and G7 respectively next year, and it was agreed to closely cooperate as Special Partners.
- (1) Prime Minister Abe stated that he would like to lead the discussions at the G20 next year through simultaneously achieving both economic growth and responding to disparities, development, and contributing to global issues. In response, President Macron stated that he would like close Japan-France cooperation as holders of the Presidency of the G20 and G7.
- (2) Both leaders confirmed they would cooperate on achieving the SDGs including for health, education, and marine pollution, and enhancing opportunities in the climate change field from the outlook of starting application of the Paris Agreement.
3. Bilateral Relations
- (1) Prime Minister Abe stated that as France is a Pacific Ocean country like Japan, gaining the participation of French Polynesia and New Caledonia at the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting in May enabled beneficial discussions toward future cooperation, and that he would like to closely cooperate with France toward realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific.
- (2) Both leaders welcomed the signing of the Japan-Canada Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), the foundation of defense cooperation, and agreed to further amass specific cooperation between Japan and France toward realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific.
- (3) In addition, both leaders agreed to advance strategic cooperation between Japan and France for the digital field such as artificial intelligence, and start-up measures.
4. Japan-EU Relations
- (1) Prime Minister Abe stated that the unshakeable political resolve of Japan and Europe to lead the world to champion free trade had been displayed to the world when they recently signed the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the Japan-EU Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA). Both leaders agreed to continue to cooperate on rapidly entering both agreements into force.
- (2) In addition, Prime Minister Abe stated that the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU is an issue that concerns business activities and the world economy, and requested that transparency, predictability, and legal stability be maintained. Both leaders confirmed close cooperation between Japan and Europe for global stability and prosperity.
5. Regional Situation
- (1) Regarding the North Korea situation, both leaders agreed that it was necessary to continue supporting the U.S.-North Korea process, and that for this complete implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions is necessary. In addition, both leaders confirmed the importance of Japan and France showing solidarity, including at the ASEM and G7, to improve and strengthen initiatives to prevent “sanctions evasion.” Both leaders also agreed on continued cooperation between Japan and France including for the swift resolution of the abductions issue.
- (2) In addition, both leaders held an exchange of views on the Iran situation, including the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and confirmed continued close cooperation between Japan and France.