Japan and France agree on N. Korea

Kyodo

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and his French counterpart Laurent Fabius agreed that North Korea should not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons and the international community must keep sending that message.

During a meeting Tuesday in Tokyo, the foreign ministers also agreed their countries should strengthen the exchange of information to ensure the safety of companies operating in Asia and Africa, Kishida told a news conference after the talks.

Many foreigners, including 10 Japanese nationals, died in a hostage crisis at a natural gas complex in Algeria in January.

Kishida also briefed Fabius on recent maritime developments in the Asia-Pacific region and how Japan interprets them, apparently touching on China’s increasing assertiveness in the region.

He said Japan and France, both maritime nations with vast exclusive economic zones in the Pacific, share a responsibility to stabilize the region according to the principle of the rule of law, according to the Foreign Ministry briefing.

Kishida is also believed to have asked France to refrain from supplying helicopter landing equipment to China, given that Beijing may install it on surveillance vessels that have repeatedly entered Japanese waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

France has taken the position that the equipment, which has been sold to China, is not for military use and employs civilian technology, thereby complying with an EU ban on arms sales to China.