Japan-Italy Summit Meeting
On October 19, commencing at 11:30 a.m. (local time) (6:30 p.m., Japan time) for approximately 40 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, who is visiting Belgium to attend the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit Meeting, held a summit meeting with H.E. Prof. Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy (President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic). The overview of the meeting is as follows.
1. Opening remarks and bilateral relations
- (1) Prime Minister Abe stated that he was pleased to see Prime Minister Conte again for the first time since the G7 Charlevoix Summit in June, and also stated that Japan and Italy, which are important partners sharing fundamental values, would like to work closely in the face of the main issues confronting the world, including North Korean issues and the promotion of free trade. In response, Prime Minister Conte stated that he was delighted to see Prime Minister Abe again for the first time in four months, and that he would like to further develop the relations between the two countries, which have enjoyed a long-standing friendship.
- (2) The two leaders shared the view that they would strengthen cooperation in the area of security and defense, including the area of maritime security, through the early entry into force of the Agreement concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology.
- (3) The two leaders also shared the view that a free and open Indo-Pacific region, connected to the Mediterranean Sea, would contribute to the strengthening of connectivity between Asia and Europe.
2. Japan-Europe relations
- (1) The two leaders confirmed that the signing of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) in July demonstrated to the world the firm political will of Japan and the EU to promote free trade, and that Japan and Italy would continue to cooperate toward the early entry into force of the agreements.
- (2) With regard to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, Prime Minister Abe expressed his concern over the current state of the negotiations, and stated that it would be important to ensure in the exit process transparency, predictability and legal stability by establishing a transition period. Prime Minister Conte expressed his understanding, and then explained the latest situation in Europe.
3. Regional situation
- (1) Prime Minister Abe stated that it would be necessary to fully implement the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and furthermore, he requested Italy’s understanding and cooperation toward the prompt resolution of the abductions issue. In response, Prime Minister Conte expressed his understanding and support for Japan’s position.
- (2) The two leaders also exchanged views on other regional situations, and shared the view that Japan and Italy, as G7 partners sharing fundamental values, would continue to work closely together for the peace and stability of the international community in fora such as the G7 and G20.