Japan-Canada Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
On September 19, commencing at around 2:05 p.m. (around 3:05 a.m. on September 20, Japan time), for approximately 30 minutes, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, who is visiting New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, held a meeting with the Honourable Chrystia Freeland P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
- At the beginning, Minister Freeland stated that she feels privileged to be able to meet Minister Kono, and noted that while she is unable to speak Japanese herself, Minister Kono is able to speak fluent English. In response, Minister Kono mentioned his experience studying abroad in the United States, and then stated that an extremely good period for further promoting the “New Era for Cooperation between Japan and Canada” is approaching as Canada will assume the G7 presidency and Japan and Canada will commemorate the 90th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year.
- The two ministers held a frank exchange of views on the North Korea issues, and Minister Kono highly valued the resolution that was unanimously adopted by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) last week that includes significantly tougher measures, along with explaining that the resolution will only demonstrate its value if it is thorouoly enforced. Minister Kono expressed the view that in order to have meaningful dialogue with North Korea, it will be important for North Korea to display serious intent toward denuclearizing itself and take concrete actions. Minister Kono stated that Japan will intensify pressure in order to make North Korea change its policies by taking the position that all options are on the table. The two ministers shared the view that Japan and Canada will work together to maximize pressure on North Korea through measures such as the thorou enforcement of UNSC resolutions.
- In addition, Minister Freeland explained that she had read a contributed article by Prime Minister Abe in the September 17 edition of the New York Times, and she stated that although the Canadian who was detained by North Korea has been released, she continues to harbor concerns about abduction cases of Japanese citizens by North Korea. Minister Kono and Minister Freeland shared the view that Japan and Canada will cooperate to resolve the abduction cases also.
- Additionally, the two ministers also exchanged views on UNSC reform and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). They confirmed that the two countries will pursue further cooperation bilaterally and in the international arena, under the “New Era for Cooperation between Japan and Canada.”