Japan-Finland Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
On February 21, commencing at 7:05 p.m. for approximately 90 minutes, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a Foreign Ministers’ meeting over dinner with Mr. Timo Soini, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Finland. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
1. Opening Remarks
Minister Kono explained that he would like to further develop the favorable bilateral relations toward the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Japan-Finland diplomatic relations in 2019. He stated that he would like to coordinate closely with Finland, Japan’s important strategic partner, to address international challenges including North Korea. Minister Soini stated that he would like to deepen the two countries’ strategic partnership toward the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Japan-Finland diplomatic relations next year. Minister Soini said since North Korea poses threat not only to Japan and Finland but also to the world as a whole, he would like to coordinate closely with Japan as two democratic countries with high transparency.
2. Bilateral relations
(1) Minister Kono welcomed progress of bilateral cooperation in a broad range of fields, including the area of security and defense, exchanges between companies and social security based on the “Strategic Partnership” (PDF) that the two countries’ leaders had announced in 2016. He also stated that he would like to coordinate closely on Arctic policy with Finland, Chair of the Arctic Council.
(2) Minister Soini stated that he would like to strengthen the bilateral relations in broad areas, including Arctic policy.
(3) The two ministers welcomed that Japan and Finland would co-host the World Circular Economy Forum 2018 in Yokohama in October this year.
3. Japan-European Union (EU) relations
The two ministers affirmed that they would cooperate toward early signing and entry into force of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
4. Regional affairs
(1) With regard to North Korea, the two ministers shared the view that they never accept nuclear-armed North Korea, and that they would coordinate closely, including on the full implementation of the latest United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
(2) In addition, the two ministers exchanged views on Russia and Ukraine.
[Reference] World Circular Economy Forum 2018