Japan-France Defense Ministers’ Teleconference

January 15, 2021
Japan Ministry of Defense
in Japanese

On January 15, 2021, commencing at around 16:35, Minister KISHI held a teleconference with the Hon. Florence Parly, Minister for the Armed Forces of France for approximately 60 minutes.

  1. Minister Parly congratulated Minister Kishi on his appointment as Minister of Defense. Minister Kishi expressed his appreciation, and he also extended his condolences for the recent attacks that French troops have suffered in Mali. Minister Kishi mentioned no act of terrorism can be justified for any reasons and the Government of Japan firmly condemns all forms of terrorism. Minister Parly expressed her gratitude and underscored the need of an international cooperation to fight against terrorism.
  2. The Ministers exchanged views on the regional issues and reaffirmed their continued close cooperation. The Ministers affirmed to continue exchanging views regarding the regional issues including the East and the South China Sea in light of the current events occurring in the region and concurred to send a clear message that they strongly oppose any attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by coercion or any activities that escalate tension, highlighting the importance of a free and open maritime order based on the rule of law. Regarding North Korea, Minister Kishi expressed that he highly valued France’s continuous commitment in the face of COVID-19 difficulties to engaging in monitoring and surveillance activities against the ongoing illicit maritime activities including North Korea’s illegal ship-to-ship transfers. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to closely coordinating toward the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of all of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges.
  3. In addition, the Ministers discussed the cooperation between the defense authorities against the risks imposed by infectious diseases that could affect peace and security through the following measures:
  4. ●sharing lessons learned in humanitarian aid and disaster response (HA/DR) operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    ●Finding new opportunities for cooperation in third countries between defense authorities in order to make them more resilient to the pandemic.
    ●sharing information and exchanging views on reinforcing the rules-based international order, including working together to counter disinformation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
     Minister Parly consented to the proposal and responded that France is ready to work together.
  5. In addition, the two Ministers affirmed they would continue to vigorously promote bilateral defense cooperation and exchanges—including the “2+2” meeting at an earliest possible timing—to uphold and reinforce the Free and Open Indo-Pacific while maintaining communication between the defense authorities.