Tokyo, Sept. 19 (Jiji Press)–Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, agreed Thursday to strengthen bilateral defense cooperation and develop economic relationship further.
The two leaders released a joint statement showing their commitment to boosting their countries’ Strategic Cooperative Partnership to share such basic values as human rights and the rule of law.
Abe and Ardern “reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening the security and defense relationship,” welcoming a joint study toward negotiating a bilateral security information-sharing agreement, according to the statement.
In their meeting, the prime ministers agreed to work together to realize the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
“I’m glad that progress has been made steadily on bilateral cooperation in island countries and regions,” Abe told a joint press conference.
The leaders also agreed to steadily implement the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement among 11 countries, including Japan and New Zealand, and add efforts to conclude the envisioned Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a larger Asia-Pacific free trade bloc, early.
Ardern arrived in Japan before the 2019 Rugby World Cup opens in the country Friday.
Abe and Ardern also agreed to promote human exchanges through sports.