Foreign Minister Hayashi’s Attendance at the Ministerial Forum for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, co-hosted by the French Republic and the European Union
On February 22, the Ministerial Forum for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific was co-hosted by the French Republic and the European Union. Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, attended the opening session in virtual format. The overview of the event is as follows.
- This meeting was held in Paris under the initiative of the French Republic, which holds the EU Council Presidency for the first half of 2022. The meeting was attended by Foreign Ministers of EU Member States, partner countries in the Indo-Pacific region, and representatives of international organizations.
- At the outset, opening remarks were delivered by the co-chairpersons of this forum, H.E. Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic, and H.E. Mr. Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission. Opening remarks were followed by addresses from the Ministers of partner countries in the Indo-Pacific region, including Minister Hayashi.
- In his speech, Minister Hayashi welcomed that this Ministerial Forum for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific was being held despite the increasingly tense situation in Ukraine. In reference to the Indo-Pacific region’s severe security environment, he stated that Japan will strengthen its defense capabilities and focus on the Japan-U.S. Alliance. He further stated that while there is a need to build a rules-based, free, and open international order in the Indo-Pacific region, it is also important to strengthen collaboration with Europe, like-minded countries, the Quad, the ASEAN, and others. He stressed the importance of promoting cooperation among like-minded countries, including between Japan and Europe, in areas such as maritime security, connectivity and development finance, trade and digital, and economic security.