Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will depart for Japan on Tuesday (24 July). His programme in Tokyo will include talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Taro Kono. The partnership with countries like Japan is of particular importance given the current upheavals worldwide. The aim is to create a robust network of countries that stand up worldwide for the values of the United Nations, the validity of international law and free global trade.
Reacting to a changed world order
As a result of the new US foreign policy, many rules in the international order are coming under ever greater pressure. Russia and China are also increasingly posing a challenge to the principles of fair global interaction through their conduct.
Allies for fair international rules
Germany thus counts on strong alliances with partners around the world, such as Japan, that support the same values. Japan is always an important ally for Germany in the United Nations. For example, Japan and Germany both support UN system reform and greater global disarmament endeavours. Japan and Germany also work closely together in crisis-hit regions. Both countries take on responsibility by providing humanitarian aid to people affected by the war in Syria and are active in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Tackling isolation and fostering free trade
Japan is also a strong partner as regards tackling isolation and fostering free trade. The European Union and Japan recently signed the largest Economic Partnership Agreement in the EU’s history. The fact that Foreign Minister Maas’s first visit to Asia will be to Japan thus sends a clear message – geographically, Germany and Japan are on opposite sides of the planet, but when it comes to foreign policy, they are on the same side.