On November 3, commencing at 10:00 a.m. (local time, at 18:00 Japanese time) for approximately one hour and 30 minutes, Mr. HAMADA Yasukazu, Minister of Defense of Japan, and Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan held the second Japan-Germany Foreign and Defense Ministers’ Meeting (“2+2”) with H.E. Ms. Christine LAMBRECHT, Federal Minister of Defense of the Federal Republic of Germany, and H.E. Ms. Annalena BAERBOCK, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany. The brief summary of the meeting is as follows.
Based on shared understanding that the unity of like-minded countries, including Germany and Japan, is required more than ever before amid the shaking of the foundations of the international order by Russia's aggression against Ukraine, both sides welcomed to hold the second Japan-Germany 2+2. Moreover the Ministers concurred to strengthen cooperation toward the realization of a "free and open Indo-Pacific"(FOIP) and to promote concrete measures to deepen Japan-Germany security and defense cooperation, including economic security. Furthermore, in consideration of the succession of the G7 presidency from Germany to Japan next year, the Ministers confirmed to continue to work closely together to share understanding of regional affairs, including the situation in Ukraine and East Asia, and to cooperate in the international arena. In addition, both sides welcomed that the cooperation is making progress,including exchanging views, on the National Security Strategy, which is currently being drafted/revised by both the Japanese and German governments.
2 The situation in Ukraine
- Both sides confirmed that Russia's aggression against Ukraine, the unilateral change of status quo by force cannot be tolerated and to continue to maintain strong sanctions against Russia and to support Ukraine in close cooperation with the international community.
- Foreign Minister Hayashi, emphasized that Russia's suggestion of the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine is extremely concerning, and the very fact that no nuclear weapons have been used for the past 77 years since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki must not be disregarded. In this regard, both sides shared the view that Russia’s threat to use nuclear weapons is a serious and unacceptable menace to the peace and security of the international community and any use of nuclear weapons woold meet with unequivocal international opprobrium and resolute responses.
3 Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Region
- After once again sharing the recognition that the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Partnership (FOIP) and Policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific of Germany are in line with each other, the Japanese side shared serious concerns about the situation in the East and South China Seas and strongly opposed the continuation and strengthening of attempts to unilaterally change the status quo with the use of force. Both sides confirmed the importance of further cooperation and coordination between the two countries to maintain and strengthen the international order based on the role of law. The German side stated the necessity of tackling some areas such as climate change in partnership with China, and woold like to work together with Japan.
- Both sides strongly condemned the extremely high frequency of ballistic missile launches by North Korea, including a series of launches on November 2 and 3, and concurred to continue to work closely together in dealing with North Korea, including the nuclear and missile issues and the abduction issue.
4 Japan-Germany Security Cooperation
Both sides welcomed the strengthening of cooperation between the Self-Defense Forces and the German Federal Armed Forces, including the deployment of the Eurofighter to Japan in September, and shared the view on the following three points to further deepen Japan-German security cooperation;
- Considering the possibility of joint exercises and visits to Japan from next year onward.
- Developing further bilateral cooperation in the field of defense equipment and technology cooperation.
- Advancing coordination toward the start of negotiations for a legal framework for facilitating joint activities between Japan and Germany.
5 Multilateral Cooperation
- Both sides shared the view to strengthen cooperation between Japan and NATO in order to maintain an international order based on the role of law. The Ministers also shared the view on importance of making further progress on cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and the importance of promoting further elaboration and expansion of Japan-NATO cooperation in areas such as cyber and maritime security.
- Both sidesconcurred on the importance of further developing security and defense cooperation between Japan and EU, noting that cooperation with partners, including Japan, is touched upon in the "Strategic Compass" announced by the EU in March of this year.
The four Ministers confirmed their intention to arrange the next "2+2" meeting to be held at an early point.