Japan, France to deepen defense, nuclear ties

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    TOKYO, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and French President Francois Hollande agreed on Friday to enhance ties on joint development of military equipment and nuclear technology.

    The two leaders also agreed that Japan and France will hold a meeting between the foreign and defense ministers to discuss joint development of military equipment and export controls, noted a joint statement issued following their summit in Tokyo.

    Abe and Hollande also decided to promote together the exports of nuclear infrastructure and services, including a nuclear reactor jointly developed by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and French energy firm Areva.

    Furthermore, the two sides agreed to strengthen the sharing of information on the security situation and each other’s nationals in the Middle East and Africa.

    In January, 10 Japanese nationals were killed during a hostage incident at a gas plant in Algeria.
    “We agreed that Japan and France, which share common values, interests, and responsibility, will enhance our special partnership,” Abe told reporters at a joint press conference with Hollande.
    “We agreed to work together on promoting cooperation to maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Both our countries contribute to the maintenance of international peace and safety and we share the will to strengthen our cooperation in this field,” he said.

    Hollande arrived in Japan on Thursday for a three-day visit. It is his first visit to Japan since taking office in May 20112.