Eighth Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue
On January 11, commencing at 6:55 p.m. local time for approximately 60 minutes, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who was visiting Paris, France, held the Eighth Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue with H.E. Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France. The overview is as follows.
1. Bilateral relations
(1) The two Ministers welcomed that Japan-France bilateral relations have further deepened based on 160th anniversary of Japan-France diplomatic relations last year. The two Ministers shared the view that Japan and France would further strengthen their bilateral relations by taking advantage of the opportunity to Chair the G20 and G7 respectively this year.
(2) The two Ministers also welcomed that the two countries have cooperated closely in the economic field, including business-to-business exchanges and civil nuclear energy.
2. Cooperation in G20/G7
(1) Minister Kono stated that he would like to enhance the synergy between the G20 and G7 in their efforts to expand free trade and to tackle climate change, and that at the G20 Summit this year, Japan would lead discussions towards realizing a free and open, inclusive and sustainable “human-centered future society” through achieving both economic growth and reduction of disparities.
(2) In response, Minister Le Drian explained about the G7 Biarritz Summit focusing on “fighting inequality .” The two Ministers shared the view that Japan and France, as the Chair of the G20 and G7, would cooperate in various areas, including climate change, ocean plastic waste, digitalization and artificial intelligence.
3. Japan-European Union (EU) relations
(1) The two Ministers confirmed that cooperation between Japan and the EU, as flag bearers of free trade, is essential amidst the rise of protectionist movement in the world. From this perspective, the two Ministers welcomed that the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has to enter into force.
(2) In addition, Minister Kono stated that it was important that the process of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU would proceed, with the impact on the global economy being minimized through ensuring transparency, predictability and legal stability. In response, Minister Le Drian explained about the current situation of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU.
Japan and France decided to establish the Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue at the Japan-France Summit Meeting in May 2011, and the dialogues have been held every year since 2012. Most recently, the Seventh Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue was held in Tokyo on January 27, 2018.