Japan-Malta Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
On November 24, commencing at 11:30 a.m. (7:30 p.m. Japan time) for approximately 20 minutes, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who was visiting Italy to attend the fourth edition of the Mediterranean Dialogues, held a Japan-Malta Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with H.E. Mr. Carmelo Abela, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion of the Republic of Malta. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
1. Opening remarks and bilateral relations
- (1) The two ministers shared the view that Japan and Malta are important partners sharing fundamental values and are both maritime nations. They also shared the view that the two countries would continue to work closely together toward international challenges, such as the rule of law at sea and North Korean issue.
- (2) The two ministers shared the view that they would promote people-to-people exchange, where by further enhance the bilateral relations. In this respect, they shared the view on accelerating the negotiations for introducing a working holiday program.
- (3) The two ministers shared the view that the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed in July 2018 would bring an enormous benefit to the both countries, such as the reduction or abolition of tariffs on the imports of Pacific bluefin tuna from Malta to Japan, and that the two countries would also continue to cooperate closely toward the early entry into force of the EPA towards strengthening the bilateral economic relations.
2. Withdrawal of the UK from the EU
Minister Kono reiterated that, in the withdrawal process, it is important to ensure transparency and predictability as well as legal stability by establishing a transition period. Minister Abela expressed his understanding and explained the latest situations in Europe, among others.
3. Regional situation
With regard to the North Korean situation, the two ministers shared the position that the full implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions is necessary toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.