Japan – Meeting between Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian and his counterpart, Tarō Kōno (14 July 2018)

On July 14, Jean-Yves Le Drian met with Tarō Kōno, Japan’s minister for foreign affairs.

Given the terrible ordeal in Japan, which has been experiencing torrential rains, he expressed France’s solidarity and support.

On July 14, Jean-Yves Le Drian met with Tarō Kōno, Japan’s minister for foreign affairs.

Given the terrible ordeal in Japan, which has been experiencing torrential rains, he expressed France’s solidarity and support.

This year our two countries are celebrating the 160th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. The Japonismes 2018 cultural season is marking that anniversary. Mr. Le Drian expressed his pleasure with this anniversary and raised with his counterpart the prospect of strengthening the exceptional partnership between France and Japan:

1. On the bilateral level, Mr. Le Drian and his counterpart worked on a number of issues:

  • economic relations: the ministers called for their expansion, thereby reaping all the benefits of the economic partnership agreement between the EU and Japan. This agreement offers new prospects by creating an economic zone of some 600 million inhabitants, representing about 30% of global GDP. Jean-Yves Le Drian and Tarō Kōno welcomed the signing, on July 13, of a statement on cooperation on innovation and the digital sector, which will serve as the foundation for a common effort by J-Startup and French Tech. They called for strengthening the French-Japanese partnership on civilian nuclear energy and hailed the decision to revive the bilateral dialogue on energy issues.
  • the Indo-Pacific: they reaffirmed their wish to strengthen French-Japanese cooperation on the development of a peaceful, prosperous, inclusive Indo-Pacific region. They were pleased, in this regard, to launch a global maritime dialogue between the two countries.
  • security and defense: they agreed to work together on concrete projects, including projects in the area of weaponry, and hailed the signing of a mutual logistical support agreement between France and Japan.
  • culture and cooperation: they discussed the importance of facilitating mobility for students and researchers and promoting scientific and academic cooperation, as well as cooperation in film, sports, and tourism.

2. Jean-Yves Le Drian and Tarō Kōno also spoke about the most important international issues:

  • multilateral issues: they reaffirmed their shared commitment to the multilateral trading system and reiterated their commitment to combating climate change, especially through the ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement, and a constructive dialogue to develop a Global Pact for the Environment. They agreed to continue coordinating ahead of the French and Japanese presidencies of the G7 and the G20 in 2020.
  • North Korea: While lauding the momentum created by the inter-Korean summit of April 27 and the summit between the United States and North Korea on June 12, the ministers noted their full agreement on the need to maintain pressure with a view to the complete, irreversible, verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Japan, represented by its foreign minister, will be honored at the Bastille Day parade in Singapore. It is the third-largest global economy, France’s second-largest trading partner in Asia, and the top Asian investor in France. Trade between France and Japan reached €16.28 billion in 2017. More than 13,000 French nationals live in Japan and about 30,000 Japanese nationals live in France.