October 23, 2011
(Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
On Sunday, October 23, from 12:35 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda held a meeting and luncheon with H.E. Mr. François Fillon, Prime Minister of the French Republic, at the Prime Minister's Office. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
Prime Minister Noda welcomed Prime Minister Fillon's fifth visit to Japan, and expressed his gratitude for a visit made to the disaster-affected region (Ishinomaki City) the previous day. He also said Japan is open for business, for students studying in Japan and for tourism, and that he hoped many French people would visit Japan. In response, Prime Minister Fillon once again expressed his respect for the bravery and character shown by the Japanese people in the earthquake, and said France wants to continue to cooperate with Japan on all fronts. He voiced anticipation that Japan-France relations would deepen further under Prime Minister Noda's leadership.
- The nuclear power plant accident and the reconstruction, Prime Minister Noda indicated that Japan would contribute to improving international nuclear power safety based on the lessons and experiences of the nuclear power plant accident. In addition, he said Japan will strive to provide prompt and accurate information on the nuclear power plant situation and the safety of foodstuffs, and asked that the EU also responds based on the latest objective data. In reply, Prime Minister Fillon expressed his hope for increased cooperation in the nuclear power and energy sectors.
- G20 Summit:
Prime Minister Fillon explained France's thoughts ahead of the G20 Summit in Cannes, which will be chaired by France, and both Prime Ministers agreed to cooperate on dealing with global economic issues, including the pressing issue of Europe's debt problem.
- Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Japan- France economic relations:
Prime Minister Noda asked for cooperation toward beginning talks on, and concluding, the Japan-EU EPA, which is in the common interest of both Japan and France. In response to this, Prime Minister Fillon said the French government supports the conclusion of the Japan-EU EPA, but said some of France's economic community harbor concerns, to which Prime Minister Noda said that steady efforts would be made with regulatory reform and nontariff measures.
Prime Minister Fillon asked that Japan resume imports of French beef promptly, and Prime Minister Noda said that 10 years have passed since measures to combat BSE began, and there is a need to reassess the countermeasures overall, based on the latest scientific knowledge.
- Strengthening strategic relations:
The Prime Ministers vowed to undertake greater cooperation on efforts to deal with a broad range of international and regional problems as global partners with common fundamental values, and confirmed that Japan-France foreign ministerial strategic dialogue, an agreement which was reached in May this year, would be implemented promptly.
- Other issues:
Commencing at 1:30 p.m., the Prime Ministers held a joint declaration in the Prime Minister's Office. They introduced the significance and content of today's meeting. (signing on the Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the French Republic on the Security of Information and release of the Joint Declaration on nuclear power and energy policy)
At the luncheon following this, after once again discussing issues such as the outlook for Japan's recovery, its nuclear power policy and energy policy, the Prime Ministers also exchanged opinions on issues such as the state of Japan's preparations for concluding the Hague Convention, and the situation in East Asia, centering on the situation in North Korea.
(*This is a provisional translation. The above date denotes the date of the issue of the original press release in Japanese.)
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