Genba, Fabius agree to boost ties

Kyodo

Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba and his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, agreed Sunday to strengthen nonnuclear energy cooperation.

Genba said he and Fabius, a 65-year-old Socialist heavyweight who served as France’s youngest prime minister from 1984 to 1986, agreed to try to bring Japanese-French relations to the “highest levels” and arrange an extensive diplomatic meeting by year’s end.

Genba’s one-on-one meeting with Fabius was the first since the latter became France’s new foreign minister last week. It took place on the sidelines of a two-day summit of NATO members that opened in Chicago on Sunday.

At the meeting, Genba proposed that bilateral cooperation on energy be expanded to green technology, and the two ministers agreed on the importance of doing so, a Japanese official said. France relies on nuclear power for nearly 80 percent of its electricity.