Foreign Minister Heiko Maas welcomed his Japanese counterpart Tarō Kōno to Berlin today (6 September). Following their talks in Tokyo on 25 July, this was the second time the two Foreign Ministers had met within a period of a few weeks. The regular and intensive exchange will be continued in the future. Not only are Germany and Japan close and trusting partners, Japan is also a partner in Asia that shares Germany’s values.
Tackling global issues
Germany and Japan are united in particular by the major global topics, that is, disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and tackling climate change. These questions can often only be answered by working together. Japan is an important partner for Germany in this regard.
Working together for a rules-based world order
Both countries support a multilateral and rules-based world order. At a time when other countries are distancing themselves ever further from international regulations, it is important that Germany can count on reliable partners like Japan. The two countries are strong advocates of UN Security Council reform. Japan will take on the Presidency of the G20 in 2019, when the G20 will hold its first summit in Japan. Germany fully supports Japan’s forthcoming Presidency of the G20.
A message against protectionism
Germany and Japan also largely share the same interests as regards trade. For example, both countries are striving for reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The EU recently signed the world’s largest free-trade agreement with Japan. Speaking at the Business Forum at the Ambassadors Conference in Berlin on 28 August 2018, Foreign Minister Maas said this was exactly the right approach and also sends a clear message against protectionism and zero sum thinking.