Japan-France Relations

October 1, 2020
(Photo 1) Foreign Ministers greeting each other
(Photo 2) Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Working Dinner

On October 1, commencing at 7:15 p.m. (local time; October 2, 2:15 a.m. JST) for approximately 3 hours, Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who was visiting France, held a Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and a working dinner with H.E. Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic. The overview is as follows.

1. Opening remarks

  • (1) Minister Le Drian welcomed Minister Motegi’s visit to France and stated that he was pleased to hold a face-to-face meeting for the first time since September 2019.
  • (2) Minister Motegi stated that he wishes to confirm that Japan and France, as exceptional partners sharing fundamental values, will further strengthen their relations in wide-ranging areas, including cooperation for realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific.

2. Bilateral relations and cooperation in international fora

  • (1) The Ministers confirmed their intention to promote bilateral cooperation on measures against COVID-19 and coordinate closely for advancing the international framework on measures against COVID-19. The Ministers also shared the view that Japan and France, as G7 members, will play an important role in resuming and recovering the world economy and creating a “post-COVID-19” international order.
  • (2) Minister Motegi, noting that Japan and France are both maritime nations in the Pacific, valued France’s active engagement in the Indo-Pacific region. In response, Minister Le Drian expressed his intention to work closely with Japan to promote bilateral cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • (3) The Ministers welcomed the remarkable development of security and defense cooperation between Japan and France in recent years, and shared the view to further advance cooperation, including joint exercises and addressing ship-to-ship transfers.

3. Regional situations

  • (1) The Ministers confirmed that Japan and France share the position on regional situations, including the East and South China Seas, and that they will continue to coordinate closely.
  • (2) The Ministers also shared the view to continue close cooperation on the situation regarding North Korea. Minister Motegi asked for understanding and cooperation toward the early resolution of the abductions issue and obtained the support from Minister Le Drian.

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