Japan, EU agree to cooperate for ‘free Indo-Pacific’

Prime Minister Kishida, EU Council President Michel hold phone call.

ISTANBUL (AA) – Japan and the EU on Monday agreed to work together towards a “free Indo-Pacific” region.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and EU Council President Charles Michel spoke over the phone, discussing regional issues, climate change, and bilateral relations.

They agreed to promote cooperation “to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” a statement by Japan’s Foreign Ministry said.

During the discussion on regional issues, the two leaders discussed China and North Korea, and the abduction of Japanese nationals in the past allegedly by Pyongyang.

Japan and the EU will also work to “tackle global issues such as climate change” and promote cooperation in various fields including digital, green, cyber, supply chain, science and technology, and disinformation countermeasures, the statement said.

The EU Council head, meanwhile, said they agreed to cooperate for “peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.”

The top officials also discussed ways to “enforce cooperation in green, digital and connectivity,” Michel said on Twitter.

The EU Council’s trip to Japan on Monday was postponed due to COVID-19 as a member of Michel’s team tested positive.

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