Politics. Japan and France ready to strengthen their partnership in Asia

French President Emmanuel Macron and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday expressed their desire to strengthen the partnership between their two countries on security issues in the Asia-Pacific region.

“As unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force in the East and South China Seas intensify and the security environment becomes increasingly tense, we want to continue to promote cooperation with France, a nation in the Pacific,” Kishida said, hinting to China. refers in particular to joint military exercises.

The Japanese prime minister began a tour of Europe and North America in Paris on Monday to meet his counterparts from other G7 countries, of which Japan has just taken over the rotating presidency for a year. “France is a leading partner in achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific space”, insisted the Japanese Prime Minister before a working dinner at the Elysée Palace, also welcoming bilateral cooperation in the automotive sector (Renault Alliance -Nissan-Mitsubishi), nuclear electricity, renewable energy or civil aviation.

“Fighting Climate Change”

Emmanuel Macron insisted on a common desire to “build new partnerships” beyond the already existing ones and mentioned new “initiatives necessary to fight climate change”. France is also interested in cooperation in the field of armaments, while Japan has carried out a major revision of its defense strategy and sharply increased its military spending, Elysée notes.

The two countries are also working on joint development projects in the Asia-Pacific region, such as in Fiji. Fumio Kishida also emphasized the “determination” of the Japanese presidency of the G7 to “unite to continue strengthening sanctions against Russia” and support Ukraine. “Japan can count on our unwavering support in the face of violations of international law by Pyongyang,” Emmanuel Macron noted.

A visit to the Notre-Dame construction site

He also invited his guest to visit the construction site of Notre-Dame Cathedral, whose fire in 2019 triggered a wave of emotion around the world, especially in Japan, a first for a head of state and government. “I had promised him when he came to Paris to be able to show him the progress of the work and to wink at what had affected the Japanese people at that time,” he said.

The head of state also recalled the timetable for the reopening of the cathedral at the end of 2024, which he had set in 2019, and which at the time had been considered very ambitious. “We see that by setting a course, by doing things in the right order (..) we are moving forward, and therefore we will achieve this goal, especially by doing well and by having good weather,” he said.

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