At their meeting in Meseberg Palace the two heads of government discussed the items on the agenda of the upcoming G7 Summit in Japan, which will include economic, foreign and security policy, and social and healthcare issues.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is currently on a tour to meet with each of the G7 partners. Chancellor Merkel welcomed him to Meseberg Palace, the German government’s guest house, for discussions. These focused on the upcoming G7 Summit, which will be held in Ise-Shima, Japan in late May. Japan took over the G7 Presidency from Germany, which held the Presidency last year.
The G7 will be focusing on economic issues, the Chancellor said following her meeting with Shinzo Abe. And so they had talked about free trade. Japan and Germany have a keen interest in concluding an EU-Japan free trade agreement, Merkel said. Free trade agreements promote economic growth, which is why Germany will make every effort to ensure that the transatlantic agreement is signed by the end of this year, she added.
Merkel said that she and the Japanese Prime Minister had also discussed foreign and security policy issues. “We stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight against terrorism,” the Chancellor said. Abe confirmed that the fight against terrorism and violent extremism is an important issue for Japan.
Germany welcomed the fact that Japan plans to step up its role in conflict resolution. Chancellor Merkel said that she and the Prime Minister of Japan also agreed that it was important to tackle the root causes of displacement. She praised Japan’s outstanding contribution to helping people in Syria and beyond.
Many of the items on this year’s G7 agenda were already dealt with at the 2015 G7 Summit in Germany – for example “women”, “reconciling work with family life” and “the role of women in our societies”. Japan will continue to place the emphasis on these issues, the Chancellor announced, as well as on topics such as health and pandemics.
Shinzo Abe agreed with the Chancellor. He said that the Ise-Shima summit agenda will cover the role of women and social and healthcare issues.
Meseberg Palace is the German government’s guest house. The baroque palace in Brandenburg also hosts special cabinet meetings and conferences. Meseberg lies approximately 70 kilometres to the north of Berlin. The palace, its gardens and park were restored by the Messerschmidt Foundation true to their original state. In 2004 the Foundation handed the palace over to the government for an initial period of 20 years – and for a symbolic rental fee of one euro. The first guest to stay at Meseberg Palace was the then French President Jacques Chirac.