Third Japan-France Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue
May 7, 2013
On May 7, commencing from around 6:00 p.m. for about two hours, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held the Third Japan-France Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue with H.E. Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the French Republic, who is visiting Japan, at Iikura Guest House. The overview of the meeting is as follows:
(1) Minister Kishida welcomed Minister Fabius, and expressed the fundamental perception that it is historically inevitable that France, as the home of liberty and human rights in the modern era, and Japan, as the first liberal democratic country in Asia, will cooperate to achieve a free and stable international community. Additionally, Minister Kishida said he hoped to achieve outcomes that are appropriate in terms of the importance of the Japan-France relationship and build "exceptional partner relations" between the two countries at the time of the visit to Japan by H.E. Mr. Francois Hollande, President of the French Republic.
(2) In response, Minister Fabius stated that the Japan-France relationship is extremely amicable and close and that he shares Minister Kishida's perception. Additionally, Minister Fabius said that he is very grateful that President Hollande has been invited to pay a state visit, and added that he hopes to accelerate coordination between the governments of Japan and France toward the success of that visit.
Bilateral relations (toward President Hollande's visit to Japan)
(1) Minister Kishida recognized the following three points concerning the outcomes at the time of President Hollande's visit to Japan, and Minister Fabius shared Minister Kishida’s views.
(i) Politics and security: Japan and France will cooperate on the goal of achieving stability in the international community, as allies sharing values, interests and responsibilities.
(ii) The economy: Cooperation between companies and cooperation in the field of advanced technologies will be promoted in order for both countries to secure growth opportunities.
(iii) Culture: Japan and France will cooperate to further enhance the brand strengths of each other's cultures and languages. In particular, Japanese culture will be communicated to the world via France, a global cultural center.
(2) Furthermore, the Ministers shared the view that Japan and France will enhance exchanges of information concerning the safety of both countries' citizens and companies residing in Asia and Africa, and that specific measures for that will be explored.
The Ministers freely exchanged views on situations in the Asia-Pacific region and in Africa.
(1) The Asia-Pacific region
(i) Regarding the situation in North Korea, the Ministers shared the view that the international community must continue sending a strong message that it will absolutely not permit the country to possess nuclear weapons.
(ii) Minister Kishida explained Japan's perception of the situation concerning recent maritime-related developments in the Asia-Pacific region in detail. Minister Kishida also noted that France possesses a broad exclusive economic zone, centering on the South Pacific, making a crucial common point between Japan and France that they are "maritime nations of the Pacific." He said Japan and France have a collective interest and responsibility to seriously engage in stabilizing that region while maintaining the principle of the rule of law. Additionally, Minister Kishida noted that Japan dispatched Mr. Minoru Kiuchi, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, to New Caledonia in February as one step toward advancing Japan-France cooperation in the Pacific.
Minister Fabius stated that it will continue to be extremely important for Japan and France to share awareness of the strategic situation in the Asia-Pacific region.
Minister Fabius explained France's efforts toward achieving stability in Africa, such as in the Sahel region. In response, on Africa in particular, Minister Kishida introduced Japan's efforts for the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), and indicated that Japan intends to continue cooperating with France on stability in Africa.