Japan-Italy Summit Meeting and Working Lunch
On May 4, commencing at 0:40 p.m. (local time; 7:40 p.m. JST), for approximately one hour and 40 minutes, Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, who is visiting the Italian Republic, held a summit meeting and working lunch with H.E. Mr. Mario Draghi, President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic. An overview is as follows.
- (1) Prime Minister Draghi welcomed Prime Minister Kishida's visit to Italy and expressed his desire to further strengthen bilateral relations with Japan, who shares fundamental values, and to work together in addressing international affairs and global challenges, including the situation in Ukraine.
- (2) In response, Prime Minister Kishida stated that it is his first visit to Rome since 2016 and he is pleased to hold the first summit meeting with Prime Minister Draghi. He stated that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has undermined the very foundations of the international order, and that the killing of many innocent civilians by Russian troops is absolutely unacceptable, and that Japan would work closely with the G7, including Italy, to impose strong sanctions against Russia and to support Ukraine in order to defend the free and open international order based on the rule of law. The two leaders shared the view that the security of Europe and the Indo-Pacific is inseparable and that unilateral changes to the status quo by force must not be allowed anywhere in the world.
2. Bilateral Relations
- (1) Prime Minister Kishida welcomed the progress of Japan-Italy security cooperation, including joint exercises between the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Italian Navy in the Gulf of Aden and the training of Japan Air Self-Defense Force pilots by the Italian Air Force. He also valued the document on the Indo-Pacific published by Italy, based on the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, and the two leaders concurred on promoting cooperation toward the realization of a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific”.
- (2) Prime Minister Kishida explained the "new form of capitalism" which he proposed as a "policy initiative" to guide the transformation of the entire economy and society, and Prime Minister Draghi gave his wholehearted cosent. The two leaders also expressed their expectations for further progress in cooperation between Japanese and Italian businesses in new areas such as green technology through the "Italy-Japan Business Group" and confirmed that the governments would work together to encourage cooperation between Japanese and Italian companies that contributes to renewable energy conversion and promoting connectivity.
- (3) The two leaders welcomed the signing of the Japan-Italy Working Holiday Agreement prior to the summit meeting, on May 2, and confirmed that they would accelerate work toward the early conclusion of an Japan-Italy film co-production agreement.
- (4) Prime Minister Kishida requested Italy's cooperation for the early lifting of EU import restrictions on Japanese food products.
3. International and Regional Affairs
- (1) The two leaders reaffirmed that the G7 and the international community would continue to unite and cooperate in strong sanctions against Russia and support for Ukraine. Prime Minister Kishida explained that Japan is actively engaged in outreach to Asian countries, referring his visit to Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand before coming to Europe, and his recent visits to India and Cambodia. The two leaders concurred on the importance of outreach to Asia, Africa and other regions.
- (2) Prime Minister Kishida pointed out that Russia's aggression against Ukraine made the world realize that ensuring energy security is indispensable even as we promote energy transition. The two leaders confirmed that they would work together on the issues of global energy security and food security.
- (3) The two leaders shared strong concerns over the rapid and uncertain build-up of military power and increased military activities in the region, in addition to attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force in the East and the South China Seas, and confirmed their united and resolute response to attempts to unilaterally change the status quo and economic coercion. The two leaders also confirmed their continued cooperation in dealing with the North Korea regarding the nuclear and missile issues, including the launch of a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan on that day (May 4), as well as the abductions issue.