• Kyodo


Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz agreed during their phone talks on Tuesday to deepen bilateral ties and expand defense cooperation, the Foreign Ministry said.

Kishida congratulated Olaf Scholz, who became chancellor last week, telling him during their roughly 20-minute conversation that Japan has emphasized its relationship with Germany, as the two countries share basic values such as democracy.

Japan and Germany have been expanding cooperation in the fields of security and defense. This year, they launched two-plus-two talks involving their foreign and defense ministers and signed an information protection pact enabling them to share intelligence.

A German Navy frigate became the country’s first military vessel in about two decades to make a port call to Japan last month.

Kishida and Scholz agreed that they will seek coordination over regional challenges posed by China and North Korea, including Pyongyang’s past abductions of Japanese nationals, and aim for nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, the ministry said. Germany has diplomatic relations with North Korea, while Japan does not.

Germany has strengthened its commitment to the Indo-Pacific region, where China’s military buildup and assertive moves in the East and South China seas are raising concern.

Germany will assume the presidency of the Group of Seven industrialized nations next year and Japan is scheduled to take over in 2023.

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