Courtesy Call on Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda by French Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius
Sunday, July 8, 2012
On Sunday, July 8, for about 20 minutes from 11:30 a.m., Mr. Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister of Japan, received a courtesy call from H.E. Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the French Republic, who was visiting Japan. An overview of the meeting is as follows.
- Prime Minister Noda extended congratulations on the inauguration of the Hollande administration and on Mr. Fabius's appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and welcomed the Hollande administration's attachment of importance to Japan. With a view to forging "excellent partner relations," Prime Minister Noda looked forward to making mutual efforts to achieve visible results and hoped President Hollande would visit Japan at an early date.
Minister Fabius responded that, as suggested by Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba at the previous day's foreign ministers' meeting, he hoped preparations would be made toward the creation of a leaders' outcome document, which looks ahead to the next five years. He stated that while the two countries enjoy good relations, he would like to see further progress made on a range of fields, including the environment and energy sector, promotion of tourism for people-to-people exchanges, and defense cooperation. He said he would advise President Hollande to positively consider visiting Japan at an early date.
- Prime Minister Noda, while explaining Japan's active assistance in response to the ongoing eurozone debt crisis, expressed his strong expectation for Europe to decisively and promptly implement the agreements reached at the meeting of the European Council at the end of June and on other occasions. Prime Minister Noda, while explaining Japan's efforts, expressed expectations toward France's initiatives for launching economic partnership agreement (EPA) negotiations.
Minister Fabius responded that Japan's assistance in the wake of the eurozone debt crisis demonstrates Japan's high level of confidence in and assessment of the European Union (EU) and expressed his appreciation. At the same time, regarding the EPA, he stated that while the business community is cautious and there are calls for the further opening of the Japanese market, the French Government is certain that the issues are resolvable and looks forward to the realization of the EPA.