Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz agreed to work with allies to continue tough sanctions against Russia and help Ukraine.
The two leaders held talks in Tokyo on Saturday. At first they only met with their interpreters and then allowed more people to join. The discussions lasted about 50 minutes in total.
Kishida expressed hope for a frank exchange of views with Scholz on topics including bilateral relations. Kishida also said that, like last year’s and this year’s G7 host countries, they will discuss global issues such as the situation in Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific.
Scholz replied that he wanted to continue the cooperation between the two countries.
Both leaders confirmed the need to end the Russian invasion of Ukraine as soon as possible and that the Russian threat of nuclear weapons is absolutely intolerable.
Kishida and Scholz also agreed to strengthen cooperation, including on security, and to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific, apparently in view of China’s growing assertiveness.
They promised to work together at the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima in May. The program is expected to cover global issues such as strengthening the United Nations, including Security Council reform, as well as nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
Later in the day, Japanese and German cabinet members joined their leaders to hold the first cabinet-level meeting between the two countries.
The ministers agreed to support cooperation in the field of economic security. They discussed how to build strong supply chains for mineral resources and semiconductors, protecting key infrastructures, countering cyber attacks, as well as protecting and educating emerging technologies.
After the meeting, Kishida told reporters that Japan and Germany will further strengthen cooperation to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law.
Kishida has now completed individual talks with all other G7 leaders ahead of the Hiroshima summit.