The Foreign Minister of Japan Hayashi Yoshimasa and his counterpart The Foreign Minister of Denmark Jeppe Kofod held a bilateral meeting in Tokyo, last 24 November, to cement friendly ties and share a partnership underpinned by a mutual commitment to fundamental values such as democracy, freedom, the rule of law and free trade.
They stressed the importance of peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific. Minister Hayashi welcomed the recently adopted EU strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. Building on the commonalities between the respective approaches to the region, the ministers decided to enhance cooperation for a free and open Indo-Pacific, which is inclusive and based on the rule of law and democratic values, as well as unconstrained by coercion. The ministers reaffirmed their intention to consult and coordinate to help advance international peace and stability, based on the obligations and commitments under international law.
Both ministers acknowledged that the climate crisis is an existential threat to the world and both Japan and Denmark will play an active role to combat this crisis.
1. Bilateral relations
(1) The ministers confirmed the steady development of bilateral relations based on the “Strategic Partnership” that was agreed upon by the leaders of the two countries in 2014 and welcomed the progress being made in the coordination of the “Joint Strategic Work Program” aimed at developing Japan-Denmark cooperation in a more concrete manner.
(2) The two ministers confirmed the potential for cooperation in clean energy and digitalization as particularly promising fields and decided to further promote bilateral public-private cooperation, which is already making good progress.
(3) Minister Hayashi requested cooperation for the lifting of EU import restrictions on Japanese food products.
Minister Hayashi said that Japan welcomes the Joint Communication on the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific announced by the European Union in September, and that he was reassured by Denmark’s support fora “Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP).” The two ministers shared the view to strengthen Japan-Denmark and Japan-EU cooperation based on the Japan-EU Connectivity Partnership.
3. Regional situations
(1) In regard to the situation in East Asia, the two ministers expressed their strong opposition to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force in the East and South China Seas. The two ministers also confirmed the importance of maintaining and strengthening a rules-based free and open international order through unity among like-minded countries that share the same fundamental values.
(2) With regard to North Korea, the two ministers confirmed the full implementation of the relevant UNSC resolutions to realize North Korea’s dismantlement of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner. In addition, Minister Hayashi requested understanding and cooperation for the immediate resolution of the abductions issue and received Minister Kofod’s support.
(3) Furthermore, the two ministers exchanged views on the Arctic, sharing the view that the region is attracting international attention from the perspectives of economic potential and security, and confirmed that they would cooperate closely, along with the other countries concerned, to ensure a free and open order based on the rule of law in the Arctic Ocean.
4. Cooperation in International Fora
The two ministers shared the view to further strengthen bilateral coordination in responding to global issues such as climate change, as well as in implementing non- disarmament and proliferation initiatives.
For further concrete collaboration based on the Strategic Partnership, a Joint Strategic Work Program is under preparation covering a broad range of sectors such as energy, digitalization, environment, agriculture, maritime cooperation, health, and culture, as well as political and economic cooperation. Both Ministers decided to continue working together toward the finalization of the Program.
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Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.