Kishida, Macron affirm cooperation for G7 summit

Pool photo / The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, left, and French President Emmanuel Macron are seen before a joint press conference in Paris on Monday.

PARIS (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday agreed to work together for the success of the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima slated for May.

With Russia and China in mind, Kishida vowed to demonstrate the G7’s strong determination to uphold a free and open international order at the summit in the atomic-bombed city.

Meeting with Kishida at the Elysee Palace in the French capital, Macron said that he will cooperate to realize a successful summit.

Kishida, who will chair the G7 summit and is on a weeklong tour of Europe and the United States, said that he resolutely rejects any unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force, threats to use nuclear weapons and actual use of the weapons.

“We will unite as the G7 to maintain and strengthen powerful sanctions against Russia and support for Ukraine,” Kishida told Macron, adding that he also wants to discuss the Indo-Pacific region at the summit.

At a joint press conference before the Paris meeting, Macron said that Japan carries a particularly heavy responsibility this year, pinning hopes on Kishida’s leadership.

Meanwhile, Kishida told Macron that the security of Europe and the Indo-Pacific region is inseparable.

They agreed to strengthen security cooperation including through mutual visits and joint exercises between the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the French military and arrange a two-plus-two meeting of their foreign and defense minister by mid-2023.

The leaders reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and agreed to work together in reforming the U.N. Security Council and strengthening other U.N. functions.

On the bilateral front, Kishida and Macron agreed to revise the 2019 road map for deepening cooperation. Kishida called for the removal of import restrictions on Japanese food products the European Union introduced in response to the 2011 nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant.