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2015年3月11日 (水)

日独首脳会談 紛争解決へ「法の支配」強めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Japan, Germany should work together to reinforce rule of law to settle rows
日独首脳会談 紛争解決へ「法の支配」強めよ

Pursuing peace and prosperity while respecting international order and rules — it is highly significant that Japan and Germany have agreed to join hands and perform their respective roles in achieving this goal.

During a meeting with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emphasized the two countries will “cooperate closely as important partners sharing basic values.” Merkel responded by saying the two countries “share common values.”

Abe and Merkel confirmed that the foreign ministries of their countries will hold regular consultative talks to find a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian issue. They also concurred that the two countries will call for Russia, which is in a position to influence pro-Russia armed groups, to play a constructive role in resolving the Ukrainian crisis.

The Group of Seven industrialized nations, including Japan and Germany, have ramped up economic sanctions against Moscow for Russia’s attempts to “change the status quo by use of force,” including its annexation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. Compared with the United States and Britain, which have taken a hard-line stance toward Moscow, Japan and Germany have taken a stand of drawing concessions from Russia through continued dialogue.

To realize a policy shift by Moscow, it is essential that the G-7 take both conciliatory and hard-line approaches in dealing with the country.

This year’s G-7 summit will be held in Germany in June, with Japan to host it next year. As the chair countries of this and next year’s G-7 summits, Japan and Germany need to work together closely in coordinating the G-7’s strategy vis-a-vis Moscow to bring about more effective results.

Coordinating strategy

During their meeting, Abe and Merkel also agreed to bolster antiterrorism measures against such radical militant groups as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. International encirclement of such groups to stem the flow of combatants and funds to them must be tackled urgently. Japan and Germany should take the initiative in addressing this matter.

With China’s increasing maritime presence in the East and South China Seas in mind, Abe briefed Merkel on the East Asian situation during the meeting.

Merkel’s visit to Japan this time is the first in seven years. In the meantime, she visited China five times. This obviously shows that Germany attaches importance to expanding economic cooperation with China, which is its largest trading partner in Asia.

A huge Chinese market is very attractive for any foreign country. But there have been problems as China has insisted on self-righteous assertions on such issues as trade, investment and intellectual property rights.

Making China comply with international rules in such fields as maritime security is a common agenda for the world. Japan should deepen discussions on this matter with Germany and other countries concerned.

Referring to Germany’s historical perception of the past 70 years since the end of World War II in a post-summit news conference, Merkel said, “Summing up the past can be a prerequisite to reconciliation,” but she avoided referring to Japan-China and Japan-South Korea relations.

This year will see many diplomatic occasions in which historical perceptions of Japan and other countries attract attention. Japan — along with Germany, which was also a defeated nation in World War II — has pursued a pacifist path and contributed to world stability based on its reflections of the wartime past. It is essential for Japan to persistently disseminate this fact to the international community.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 10, 2015)


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