Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
April 12, 2016
On Tuesday, April 12, commencing at 11:45 a.m. for approximately two hours and 10 minutes, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a Foreign Ministers' Meeting and a working lunch with H.E. Mr. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of the French Republic, who visited Japan to attend the G7 Hiroshima Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. The Foreign Ministers issued a joint press release on Japan-France cooperation in Africa (French (PDF) / Japanese (PDF)). The overview of the meeting is as follows.
1. Opening remarks (including the G7 Hiroshima Foreign Ministers’ Meeting)
(1) Foreign Minister Kishida expressed his appreciation for the cooperation at the G7 Hiroshima Foreign Ministers’ Meeting that was held till April 11 and explained that he hoped to conduct in-depth discussions of matters of common interest between Japan and France this day, based on the discussions at the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. He also commented that he would like to discuss bilateral issues including security and defense cooperationas well as cooperation in Africa, hoping to further strengthen the ”exceptional partnership” between Japan and France.
(2) Foreign Minister Ayrault voiced gratitude for Japan’s hospitality as the G7 Presidency and noted that the G7 Hiroshima Foreign Ministers’ Meeting sent a strong message to the world toward peace.
(3) Both Foreign Ministers praised the issuance of the Hiroshima Declaration and the Statement on Maritime Security and confirmed that they would carry these results to the G7 Ise-Shima Summit. Additionally, both Foreign Ministers agreed to deepen their personal relationship of trust and to further strengthen the ”exceptional relationship” between Japan and France.
2. Japan-France relations(1) Both Foreign Ministers agreed to further strengthen Japan-France cooperation in such fields as security and defense, economy, civilian nuclear energy, culture, Africa, and space. In particular, they confirmed that they would promote two way investments, and also advance space cooperation while welcoming the convening of the Japan-France Comprehensive Dialogue on Space in March 2016. (2) Regarding Japan-France cooperation in Africa, the two Foreign Ministers issued a joint press release describing the progress after the visit of Japan by H.E. Mr. Manuel Valls, Prime Minister of the French Republic, in October 2015 as well as their future policies. They also confirmed their intent to continue cooperation, in accordance with the three pillars, namelysustainable development, health, and security, toward achieving success of the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) taking place in Kenya in August. (3) Both Foreign Ministers agreed to move forward with specific Japan-France cooperation during the Japan-France Innovation Year (October 2015 to October 2016).
3. Japan-EU relations
Both Foreign Ministers confirmed their intent to cooperate toward achieving an early conclusionof negotiations for the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA).
4. Global issues
(1) Foreign Minister Ayrault explained the refugee issue in Europe, and Foreign Minister Kishida introduced Japan’s assistance measures and explained that Japan intended to contribute as a responsible member of the international community.
(2) Regarding the United Nations Security Council reforms, Foreign Minister Ayrault expressed support for the G4 initiative, and the two Foreign Ministers agreed to promote the Security Council reforms.
(3) Regarding climate change, Foreign Minister Kishida expressed deep respect for France’s leadership and efforts in realizing the historic accomplishment of the adoption of the Paris Agreement, and the two Foreign Ministers agreed to work collaboratively for an early effectuation of the Paris Agreement.