All national dailies reported on a videoconference held between Prime Minister Suga, European Council President Michel, and European Commission President von der Leyen on Thursday. In a joint statement issued following the conference, the Japanese and EU leaders underscored the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and expressed strong opposition to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the South and East China Seas. The remark on Taiwan echoes Suga’s joint statement with President Biden last month, as well as the statement by G7 foreign ministers this month. Nikkei speculated that Japan hopes its joint statement with the EU will pave the way toward discussing Taiwan at the G7 summit to be held in the UK next month.
The paper wrote that the participants in the meeting also discussed the EU’s Indo-Pacific strategy to be finalized by September. An outline of the EU strategy published in April stopped short of explicitly referring to China. Suga explained to his EU counterparts China’s actions that violate international laws, including operations near the Senkaku Islands. The EU leaders said they will take a united stance and speak out against activities that undermine a free and open international order.
The paper also wrote that the Japanese and EU leaders agreed to launch the Japan-EU Green Alliance to advance comprehensive cooperation on decarbonization. Under the alliance, Japan and the EU will work together on assisting emerging countries in Asia with technological innovation.
The joint statement also said that the EU supports the holding of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.