Japan-Germany Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Working Lunch
July 25, 2018
On July 25, commencing at 12:05 p.m. for approximately two hours, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a foreign ministers’ meeting with H.E. Mr. Heiko Maas, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Federal Republic of Germany, who was visiting Japan. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
Minister Kono welcomed Minister Maas on his first visit to Japan, and stated that Japan and Germany are important partners that lead Asia and Europe respectively, and which address the various problems facing the international community based on common fundamental values. Minister Kono explained that he intends to coordinate more closely with Germany, which will serve as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for a two-year period from next year.
In response, Minister Maas offered words of condolence regarding the heavy rain disaster in western Japan, and stated that Germany and Japan are important partners which share values. Minister Maas explained that he selected Japan as the first country in his first round of visits to Asia as Foreign Minister. Minister Maas stated that he hopes Japan and Germany will cooperate closely for purposes such as free trade, maintaining the rule-based international order, and multilateral cooperation.
2. Bilateral relations
(1) The two ministers confirmed that on the basis of the joint statement issued on this occasion, they will deepen cooperation and dialogue on challenges in the international arena such as UNSC reform, disarmament and non-proliferation and disarmament, as well as regional situations in Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere.
(2) The two ministers shared the view that they will explore the establishment of a new framework for discussion by their foreign affairs and defense ministries, toward strengthening Japan-Germany cooperation in the security field.
(3) The two ministers welcomed that commemorative events relating to DAIKU2018, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first performance in Japan of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 this year, are being held with great success in both Japan and Germany.
3. Japan-European Union (EU) relations
(1) Minister Kono stated that Japan supports a strongly united Europe, and the two ministers shared the view that they will set up a dialogue between the two countries’ Ambassadors or Director-Generals in charge of the Western Balkans, in order to pursue Japan-Germany collaboration on the Western Balkans, which aims to join the EU.
(2) The two ministers welcomed the signing of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) on July 17, and confirmed that they will continue to work together in order to bring both agreements into force promptly.
4. Cooperation in the international arena.
(1) The two ministers shared the view that they will pursue G4 initiatives on UNSC reform.
(2) They confirmed that they will coordinate toward realizing “a world free of nuclear weapons” through frameworks such as the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI).
5. Regional situations
(1) With regard to North Korea, the two ministers shared the view that it remains to be necessary for North Korea to dismantle all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, and that Japan and Germany will work together toward the full implementation of UNSC resolutions.
(2) In addition, the two ministers also exchanged views on the Middle East situation, the situation in Europe, maritime security and other issues.