Japan, Italy Agree on Security Cooperation; Meloni Takes Up G7 Baton From Kishida

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni shake hands after a joint press conference at the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni confirmed Monday that the two countries would closely cooperate for the success of the next Group of Seven summit to be held in Italy this June.

They also agreed to hold the first director general-level meeting between foreign and defense authorities in March to deepen their security cooperation.

This was the first visit since 2015 by an Italian prime minister to Japan outside of an international conference.

At the Prime Minister’s Office, Kishida said he welcomed Italy’s commitment to carry on the results of Japan’s G7 presidency last year. Meloni said she would take up the baton and strive to achieve outstanding results.

The two leaders said they would continue their efforts based on the developments of the Hiroshima summit in May, including maintaining and developing the international order based on the rule of law.

Kishida and Meloni also welcomed the progress of cooperation in the field of defense and security, such as joint naval exercises and port calls by Italy’s naval vessels this year. As for a joint development of next-generation fighter aircraft by Japan, Italy and the United Kingdom, which is proceeding as planned, the two leaders concurred to make further efforts for the smooth progress of the project.

In addition, they agreed to continue their support for Ukraine along with strong sanctions against Russia, and to cooperate in dealing with China’s increasingly hegemonic moves as well as the situation in the Middle East.