H.E. Ambassador Hidenao Yanagi at the Representation of North Rhine-Westphalia. Picture by NRW Landesvertretung-Michael-Setzpfandt
Tuesday, 13 April 2021, Berlin-Tokyo: Germany held its first foreign and security policy consultations with Japan, a partner with shared values. The talks took place in 2+2 format, with each country being represented by its Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence
Foreign and security policy consultations between Japan and Germany are a new form of cooperation between the two countries: Nipponese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi participated on the Japanese side, and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on the German side. The Federal Foreign Office was the virtual host of the joint video teleconference.
The 2+2 Japan-Germany consultations, as they are called, are a tangible result of the German Government’s Policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific, which it adopted in the autumn of 2020. In these, Germany declared its intention to play a stronger and more active role in the Indo-Pacific region, which stretches from the eastern coast of Africa to the western coast of the Americas.
A key part of this strategy is to diversify and deepen Germany’s relations with countries in the region.The Indo-Pacific region is the fastest-growing economic region in the world. Viêt Nam and China are among the small number of countries in the world that recorded economic growth in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Indo-Pacific accounts for a large share of international trade. However, the region is also seeing an increasing amount of conflict and geopolitical rivalry. Global challenges, such as facing down the pandemic, tackling climate change and the equitable shaping of globalisation, cannot be tackled without the countries of the Indo-Pacific.
Japan is among Germany’s oldest and closest partners. This year, the two countries are celebrating their 160th anniversary of bilateral relations. Japan is the oldest democracy in East Asia and, like Germany, is an export-oriented, high-tech country. We therefore have a number of things in common: We share fundamental values, face similar challenges and have the same interests in many areas.
For further information:
Embassy of Japan in Germany (HE Yanagi Hidenao): https://www.de.emb-japan.go.jp/itprtop_de/index.html
160 years of German-Japanese diplomatic ties: https://www.de.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_de/160jd.html