Japan-Italy Summit Telephone Talk
March 19, 2021
On March 19, commencing at 6:00 p.m. for approximately 20 minutes, Mr. SUGA Yoshihide, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit telephone talk with H.E. Mr. Mario Draghi, President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic. The overview of the talk is as follows.
- At the outset, Prime Minister Suga congratulated Prime Minister Draghi on his appointment to office, adding that he was pleased to have an opportunity to exchange views following the G7 Leaders’ Video Conference in February. He also offered his condolences to the families of the three victims of the attack by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last month, which included the Italian Ambassador to the DRC, Luca Attanasio. In response, Prime Minister Draghi expressed his gratitude and spoke of his wish to work together to further develop Japan-Italy relations.
- Prime Minister Draghi stated that this year, Italy holds the Presidency of the G20, and will continue to tackle the “three P’s” of “people, planet, and prosperity,” drawing on the “digital, women, health, trade, and the environment” agenda set by Japan in 2019. In order to make the G20 summit a success, the two leaders shared the view to cooperate closely in addressing international challenges, including climate change and build back better from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). They also affirmed that the G7, with its shared values, would take the lead in creating a post-COVID-19 international order.
- With regard to measures against COVID-19, the two leaders acknowledged the need to ensure fair access to safe, effective, and quality vaccines worldwide and confirmed that they would work together to achieve universal health coverage.
- Prime Minister Suga welcomed the start of discussions on Indo-Pacific policy within the EU, and expressed his wish to work closely with Prime Minister Draghi to achieve tangible results toward the realization of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” and Prime Minister Draghi concurred.
- With respect to China, Prime Minister Suga expressed his serious concerns about unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China Seas, including China’s Coast Guard Law, and the two leaders shared the view to continue working together. The two leaders also shared serious concerns about the situation in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Furthermore, they shared the view to cooperate in addressing North Korea, including the abductions issue.