Federal Chancellor Scholz travelled to Japan to harmonise policy objectives on current issues with Germany’s close G7 partner. In a joint press conference at the end of their first meeting on Thursday, Federal Chancellor reflected on the initial outcomes of his talks with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Both leaders were unanimous in their condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Germany and Japan are “shoulder to shoulder”
The Federal Chancellor expressed Germany’s gratitude to Japan for joining sanctions against Russia and for the support it is providing to Ukraine. Scholz said Germany and Japan were “shoulder to shoulder” in defending the United Nations Charter, the rules-based international order and human rights.
On the issue of Ukraine, Prime Minister Kishida said that the international status quo must not be changed through violence and unilateral action – something that also applied to the Indo-Pacific region. Kishida went on to say Japan was helping Ukraine in a range of ways. He expressed his gratitude for Germany’s offer to take Japanese aid supplies for Ukraine back on the Federal Chancellor’s official aircraft.
Agreement on regular government consultations
The two heads of government underlined the close cooperation between Germany and Japan, not only in supporting Ukraine but also on other political issues such as global challenges around climate protection, securing supply chains and preserving free trade routes. Bilateral relations would be intensified and improved through regular government consultations starting next year, the two leaders said.
G7: Japan takes over Presidency in 2023
Scholz and Kishida also stressed the importance of close coordination between the two countries within the framework of the G7, which provides for cooperation between the world’s major industrial nations. Germany currently holds the G7 Presidency, which Japan will take over next year.
Federal Chancellor attends business conference
Federal Chancellor Scholz began his visit to Japan on Thursday by taking part in the German-Japanese Business Dialogue conference. Following their one-to-one meeting, the Federal Chancellor and Prime Minister Kishida met senior business representatives. That evening the Federal Chancellor attended a dinner hosted by the Japanese Prime Minister.
Before returning to Germany on Friday, Scholz also visited a hydrogen production facility in the city of Kawasaki. The Federal Chancellor stressed Germany and Japan’s ambitious goals for climate challenges, “so it will also be important for us to collaborate on technology, such as on issues of the hydrogen energy economy”. For Scholz it was a matter of “developing a new global trade that simultaneously helps our countries become climate neutral industrial nations”.