Japan-France Summit Meeting and Dinner Hosted by Prime Minister Koizumi
March 27, 2005
On March 27, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi held a summit meeting with President Jacques Chirac of the French Republic who was on an official working visit to Japan and hosted a dinner in President Chirac's honor. The following is a summary of the main points discussed at the summit meeting and the dinner.
1. Bilateral relations
Prime Minister Koizumi and President Chirac confirmed that relations between Japan and France are currently in excellent shape. Both leaders highly appraised the "Declaration for a new Japan-France partnership" which was announced at the summit meeting (for an overview see attachment 2). Besides, Prime Minister Koizumi raised the issues of the European Union's moves to lift the arms export embargo on China and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), as subjects on which the positions of Japan and France differ and which require discussion.
2. Lifting of the EU's Arms Export Embargo on China
Prime Minister Koizumi stated that Japan was opposed to moves by the EU to lift the arms export embargo on China, citing concerns about the stability of the East Asian region. President Chirac stated that the lifting of the embargo was not intended as a move to substantially change the volume of exports to China, but was rather an issue of how to interact with China. (The Declaration for a new Japan-France partnership incorporates a call for strengthening of high-level strategic dialogue between Japan and France on the security situation in East Asia.)
Prime Minister Koizumi indicated the necessity to find a resolution to this issue that would be mutually agreeable to both sides. President Chirac agreed with this statement, noting that the EU was seeking a prompt resolution, and that before the EU Special Meeting to be held in mid-April he would like to send a member of the European Commission (EC) responsible for this issue to Japan for consultations.
4. Security Council Reform
Prime Minister Koizumi expressed his appreciation for France's support for Japan's position on reform of the United Nations Security Council. President Chirac expressed his support for Japan and Germany becoming permanent members of the Security Council with the same veto rights as the current permanent members, and stated that he would continue to cooperate with Japan. (In the Declaration for a new Japan-France partnership, Japan and France support the approach taken by Secretary-General Kofi Annan of the United Nations that recommends a decision on Security Council reform by the time of the summit meeting in September, and are determined to cooperate in order to achieve this objective.)
5. International Situation
The two leaders also exchanged their views on the issues of the Middle East (peace process, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria) and North Korea.
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