Foreign Minister Kawaguchi Telephone Talks with French Foreign Minister De Villepin

November 4, 2003

The following is an overview of telephone talks that Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi had with French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin on November 4.

1. Japan-France Relations

(1) Foreign Minister Kawaguchi said that she was looking forward to Foreign Minister De Villepin's early visit to Japan. In response, Foreign Minister De Villepin said that although he is currently occupied by consultations regarding the draft constitution of the European Union, he is willing to visit Japan as soon as possible.

(2) Foreign Minister Kawaguchi then expressed the hope that the social security agreement, which is under negotiation between Japan and France, would be concluded at an early date. She also expressed that she wanted the new document on Japan-France cooperation, which also is currently being negotiated between Japan and France, to have substantial future-oriented content. In response, Foreign Minister De Villepin stated that he wanted the document to have a good content and that the Japan-France Dialogue Forum is also important in terms of promoting cooperation between the two countries.

2. Iraq

(1) Foreign Minister Kawaguchi stated that the international community should display unified solidarity against the series of terrorism. Furthermore, she stated that the international community cooperate and collaborate regarding ensuring public order and assisting reconstruction in order to accelerate the political process, and that she looked forward to a positive approach from France.

(2) In response, Foreign Minister De Villepin stated that the domestic situation in Iraq dose not permit optimism. The Minister also stated that, as it has become increasingly difficult the political process has become increasingly important as theses a limitation to the military process; he stated the necessity of self-governance by the Iraqi people.

(3) Foreign Minister Kawaguchi replied it is the responsibility of the entire international community to ensure stability in Iraq, and that "we board on the same ship," and that it was important to give hope to the Iraqi people. The Ministers agreed to continue close discussions on this issue.

3. Iran

(1) Foreign Minister Kawaguchi welcomed the recent visit to Iran by the foreign ministers of Britain, France, and Germany. She praised the decision of the Iranian government as a forward-looking move, and expressed the strong hope that Iran would sincerely implement all the measures demanded in the resolution of the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in September. Foreign Minister Kawaguchi also stated that she wanted to continue cooperative effort between Japan and France.

(2) In response, Foreign Minister De Villepin stated that it was important for France, while maintaining cooperation with Japan, to continue making approaches to Iran.

4. North Korea

Foreign Minister Kawaguchi explained that she recently saw a certain forward-looking attitude from North Korea. Foreign Minister De Villepin stated that France was closely watching the Six-Party talks process and that it was important to maintain the current momentum.

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