JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.97

SPECIAL FEATURE SPECIAL FEATURE

4th Japan-France Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting and Japan-France Defense Ministerial Meeting

4th Japan-France Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting and Japan-France Defense Ministerial Meeting

On January 26th, Minister of Defense Onodera and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kono met with H. E. Ms. Parly, Minister for the Armed Forces of the French Republic and H. E. Mr. Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic as part of the 4th Japan-France Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting (“2+2”).

1 Overview

1.The four Ministers shared the view that at a time when the existing international order faces various challenges, Japan and France, which are “exceptional partners” sharing fundamental values, would cooperate closely in order to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law.

2.The Ministers shared the view that in favor of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, they would implement cooperation for peace, stability and prosperity of the region. Japan welcomed further engagement to the region by France through such cooperation.

2 Japan-France Security and Defense Cooperation

The Ministers shared the view to promote cooperation in the following areas:

1.Prompt finalization of the negotiation and signing and conclusion of the Japan-France Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA)

2.Collaboration in maritime security and maritime safety, and in supporting capacity-building in developing countries

3.A joint exercise with the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) when the French naval frigate Vendemiaire visits Japan in February this year

4.Quick kick-off of the cooperative research on the feasibility study for mine countermeasure activities

5.Cooperation toward the next meeting of Japan-France comprehensive dialogue on outer space

6.Cooperation in the fields of counterterrorism and cyberspace

3 Regional Situation

1.With regard to North Korea, the most imminent and grave threat to the international community, The Ministers affirmed that they would never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea, and that Japan and France would cooperate in order to maximize pressure by the international community on North Korea to the maximum degree.

2.The Ministers affirmed the importance of a free and open maritime order based on the rule of law, and shared the view that they would strongly oppose any unilateral actions that increase tensions as well as any attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion.

3.The Ministers also exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East, including Middle East peace process.

4th Japan-France Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting and Japan-France Defense Ministerial Meeting
4th Japan-France Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting and Japan-France Defense Ministerial Meeting
4th Japan-France Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting and Japan-France Defense Ministerial Meeting

On January 27th, Minister Onodera also held a Japan-France Defense Ministerial Meeting with Minister Parly. The two Ministers discussed the defense policies of both countries and the Japan-France defense cooperation and exchanges.

1 Opening Remarks

Minister Onodera welcomed Minister Parly’s visit to Japan, and stated that both Japan and France are “Pacific nations” and “exceptional partners” that share fundamental values, and would like to continue to proactively progress defense cooperation. In response, Minister Parly expressed appreciation toward the warm welcome following the “2+2”, and showed her expectation for the concrete progress of the Japan-France defense cooperation.

2 Defense Policies and Regional Situations

With regard to the situation in North Korea, the ministers shared the views that the international community should demonstrate solidarity in maximizing pressure on North Korea by all means available to urge it to change its policies. Also, Minister Onodera explained the regional situation including that of North Korea and welcomed the involvement of France in the Asia Pacific region. Additionally, he stated that a free and open maritime order is an important pillar of the stability and prosperity of the international community and expressed his intention to progress the free and open Indo-Pacific strategy in cooperation with France. Minister Parly stated that France will ensure the freedom of navigation by taking actions. She further noted that France intends to continue navigation of vessels in the region this year as well.

3 Defense Cooperation

The Ministers agreed to further promote the Japan-France defense cooperation and exchanges, and to continue working closely together to realize earliest possible signing and enforcement of the Japan-France ACSA.

Regarding unit-to-unit exchanges and joint training and exercises, in the field of maritime cooperation, the ministers affirmed that Japan and France would conduct joint exercises in the Indo-Pacific region seizing various opportunities.

The ministers confirmed that the two countries would further promote cooperation in the field of outer space, seek collaboration in capacity building assistance and quick kick-off of the cooperative research on the feasibility study for mine countermeasure technology activities.

4th Japan-France Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting and Japan-France Defense Ministerial Meeting
4th Japan-France Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting and Japan-France Defense Ministerial Meeting
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