JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.63

MEETING WITH FOREIGN LEADERS

Second Japan-France Foreign and Defense Ministers' Meeting
- Japan-Fance Defense Ministerial Meeting -

Second Japan-France Foreign and Defense Ministers' Meeting

FranceOn March 13th, Mr. Gen Nakatani, Minister of Defense, and Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs held the second Japan-France Foreign and Defense Ministers’ Meeting in Tokyo with Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Defence, and Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

On the occasion of this meeting, the four ministers signed the Agreement between Japan and France concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology.

On the next day, March 14th, Minister Nakatani and Minister Le Drian held a Japan-France Defense Ministerial Meeting at the MOD.

1. Opening remarks, security policy, Japan-France security and defense cooperation

Minister Kishida welcomed the two French ministers to Japan, while explaining that Japan and France have an “exceptional partnership” and that he wants to discuss specific cooperation in order to proactively contribute together to the peace, security, and prosperity of the world. Minister Nakatani welcomed the holding of the meeting, and explained efforts relating to the development of seamless security legislation.

In response, Minister Fabius explained that Japan is the only country in Asia that France holds Foreign and Defense Ministers’ Meetings with, and France has a great deal of trust in Japan. He said France supports Japan’s efforts and initiative in trying to discharge greater responsibility for the world’s peace and stability, which makes a variety of cooperation between Japan and France possible. Minister Le Drian also expressed support for Japan’s efforts in the security sector, including the development of seamless security legislation, and welcomed the progress of cooperation that has been made since the previous meeting, including the signing of the Agreement concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology.

Based on the signing of this Agreement, the four ministers confirmed that, work on formulating specific cooperative projects relating to defense equipment will be accelerated, close exchanges of views on export control will also be carried out, cooperation and exchanges in areas such as joint exercises and anti-piracy measures will be advanced, and considerations will begin with the conclusion of an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement in perspective.

2. Counter-terrorism, the Middle East

The Japanese side expressed gratitude for the cooperation and solidarity shown by France at the time of the terrorist incident regarding the murder of Japanese, while explaining Japan’s three pillars of foreign policy which were based on this incident and its stronger defense attaché presence in the Middle East. The French side once again extended its condolences over the murdered Japanese, and expressed its gratitude for Japan’s solidarity at the time of the shooting terrorism attacks in Paris. The four ministers confirmed that they will strengthen information exchanges and cooperation in Africa and the Middle East, and will cooperate with the international community to engage in the fight against terrorism.

3. Regional affairs

Japan-Fance Defense Ministerial Meeting

(1) Ukraine and Russia

The four ministers discussed responses to the situation in Ukraine, where the ceasefire agreement remains fragile. They confirmed the importance of soundly fulfilling the Minsk Agreement and that they will cooperate to improve the situation while emphasizing coordination with the G7.

(2) Situation in East Asia

The Japanese side raised the issue of the security environment in East Asia, and explained the relationship with China since last year’s APEC, ballistic missile launches by North Korea and the abductions issue, the situation in the East China Sea and South China Sea, and increased activity by the Russian forces in the vicinity of Japan. The French side responded an explanation of the regional situation from Japan is meaningful, and the four ministers confirmed the importance of the rule of law and that they will continue to engage in close exchange of views.

(3) Africa

The French side explained France’s efforts in Mali, Central Africa, while voicing appreciation for Japan’s support and noting the necessity for further cooperation to achieve reconciliation and democratization. The four ministers also discussed responses to Boko Haram, and shared the view that based on the lessons of the terrorism incident in In Amenas, Algeria, they will strengthen information exchanges concerning the situation in Africa.

(4) Disarmament and non-proliferation

Noting the importance of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, the Japanese side requested France’s cooperation toward a successful NPT Review Conference, and the French side stated that it also attachés importance to disarmament and non-proliferation, and explained the current state of negotiations surrounding Iran’s nuclear issue.

(5) Cyber issues

The four ministers welcomed the holding of the first Japan-France Cyber Dialogue in December last year, and shared the view that cooperation in cyber-related fields will be strengthened further in the future.

4. Concluding remarks

The four ministers appreciated that this meeting was beneficial, and shared the view that they will hold the next meeting at an appropriate time next year.

Minister Nakatani's Meeting with Vice President of South Sudan

Minister Nakatani's Meeting with Vice President of South Sudan

South SudanOn March 18th, Defense Minister Nakatani met with Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, Mr. James Wani Igga in Tokyo. Minister Nakatani welcomed Vice President Igga’s visit to Japan. Regarding the SDF engineer unit of approx. 350 working for the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan, Minister Nakatani stated that Japan will contribute to the peace and stability of South Sudan and in Africa as a whole in cooperation with the international society.

Vice President Igga thanked Japan for the warm hospitality extended to him during his stay and also expressed gratitude for the support and dedicated assistance of Japan in South Sudan through activities such as the engineer work carried out by SDF personnel.

Japan-Colombia Defense Ministerial Meeting

Japan-Colombia Defense Ministerial Meeting

Colombia On March 14th, Defense Minister Nakatani met with Minister of National Defence of Colombia, Juan Carlos pinzón Bueno in Tokyo, and discussed defense policies as well as future defense exchanges.

Minister Nakatani welcomed Minister pinzón's visit to Japan and told him that this very first Japan-Colombia Defense Ministerial Meeting would be a stepping stone to future defense exchanges between the two countries. Minister pinzón expressed his gratitude for the hospitality and stated his expectations to enhance bilateral defense cooperation and exchange.

The Ministers briefed each other on defense policies and exchanged views, and the Ministers agreed to deepen mutual understanding through such discussions.

Minister pinzón suggested to promote cooperation in the area of Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA/DR), cyber defense, education exchange, counter-terrorism measures, and mutual dispatch of defense/military attachés. The Ministers agreed to promote coordination, aiming to sign a memorandum on the defense exchange at the occasion of Shangri-La Dialogue scheduled to be held in May this year. The Ministers also concurred that the two sides will continue discussions in each area of cooperation suggested by Minister pinzón.

Chief of Joint Staff Meets His Swedish Counterpart

Chief of Joint Staff Meets His Swedish Counterpart

SwedenSupreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces, General Sverker Göranson visited the MOD at the formal invitation of Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, Chief of Joint Staff. They exchanged views over a wider range of topics and agreed to further enhance bilateral trust relationship and promote defense cooperation.

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