This commitment was made in a joint declaration following a meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in Tokyo on the sidelines of the Olympic opening ceremony.
The two countries welcomed the progress made on a 2019 Franco-Japanese cooperation agreement and pledged to “actively continue to work together … on priority areas such as maritime safety, climate change, the environment and biodiversity. “.
Their statement comes amid European efforts to intensify a diplomatic and military presence in the Indo-Pacific in the face of China’s growing influence in the region.
Japan welcomed French plans to strengthen regional cooperation when it takes over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of next year, notably by stepping up the EU’s efforts to “strengthen its focus strategy, its presence and its actions in Indochina. Pacific in order to contribute to security, stability and sustainable development in the region.
After his trip to Japan, Macron was to visit the French island territories in the Pacific.
The leaders also pledged additional funding and support for the global COVAX vaccine platform. Macron praised the cooperation between the two countries during the pandemic.
“Our partnership is exceptional in the Indo-Pacific. At a time when we are all fighting the virus, when we are engaging in recovery, this partnership is a strength, ”he said. noted.
The two countries agreed that climate change would be one of their top diplomatic priorities and that they would work to ensure that the rebound from the coronavirus pandemic is “green, inclusive and sustainable.” They pledged to “promote the alignment of public and private funding with the 2030 agenda and the Paris Agreements”.
Their statement also raised the issue of parental rights, where Japan has come under fire for denying joint custody of children in divorce and separation cases. The problem hit the headlines in France because a French father went on a hunger strike outside the Olympic stadium in Tokyo in an attempt to gain access to his children who, he says, were abducted by their Japanese mother. .
The leaders said the two countries would strive to “strengthen dialogue in the best interests of children.” The issue has also caught the attention of the European Parliament.
With Paris set to host the next Summer Olympics in 2024, Macron was one of only three EU heads of state or government to attend the opening of Tokyo, along with Polish President Andrzej Duda and the Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg. Macron also joined United States First Lady Jill Biden to attend a 3-on-3 women’s basketball game between France and the United States. France lost 17-10.