Japan-France Summit Meeting (Overview)

May 19, 2012

  • (Photo)Japan-France Summit Meeting-1
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
  • (Photo)Japan-France Summit Meeting-2
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

On Saturday, May 19, Mr. Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister of Japan, who was visiting the United States to attend the G8 Camp David Summit, met with Mr. Fran?ois Hollande, President of the French Republic, for approximately 30 minutes from 8 a.m. (9 p.m. Japan time). The main points of the meeting are as follows.

1. Japan-France Relations

(1) Prime Minister Noda congratulated President Hollande on his inauguration as President of the French Republic. Both leaders shared the view that Japan and France share basic values and interests and are partners which can work together and cooperate on a range of global issues.

(2) Prime Minister Noda expressed his hope that President Hollande will visit Japan at an early date for the further enhancement of Japan-France relations. President Hollande replied that he looks forward to further reinforcing and expanding bilateral relations and to making a fruitful visit to Japan.

(3) Prime Minister Noda affirmed that the Japan-European Union (EU) economic partnership agreement (EPA) was important for both Japan-France and Japan-EU economic growth, and requested France's cooperation for the early commencement of negotiations. President Hollande stated that although he supports the Japan-EU EPA, further opening of the Japanese market and two-way Japan-France economic relations were needed.

2. Eurozone Debt Crisis

(1) Both leaders shared concerns about the recurrence of the eurozone debt crisis. Prime Minister Noda, noting Japan's purchase of EFSF (European Financial Stability Facility) bonds and its announcement to contribute US$60 billion to boost the financial resources of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), sought efforts by France and the eurozone countries for the stabilization of the European economy.

(2) President Hollande commended Japan's cooperation. He stated that while Greece's withdrawal from the eurozone should be prevented, Greece should execute its commitments, and that the solidarity of Europe was essential.

3. International and Regional Situation

(1) Iran
Both leaders shared deep concerns regarding the nuclear issue of Iran. Prime Minister Noda expected that consideration would be given to Japan in the EU's application of economic sanctions against Iran (prohibition of provision of insurance and reinsurance related to the transport, etc. of Iranian crude oil). President Hollande stated that it was important to impede nuclear development through negotiations and that he understood the impacts of the sanctions, including the impact on the Japanese economy, and so on.

(2) North Korea
President Hollande stated that he fully shares the position that Prime Minister Noda announced at the G8 Working Dinner on the previous day, including the position on the abduction issue. Prime Minister Noda appreciated the understanding and cooperation of France, and asked France, which attaches importance to human rights, for its continued support and cooperation on the abduction issue.

(3) China
Prime Minister Noda stated that while China's development is an opportunity, at the same time, it was important to urge China to comply with the rules of the international community. President Hollande, while concurring with Prime Minister Noda, stated that he would like to also watch out to see whether the change in leadership this fall will lead to a change in the policies of China.

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