On Thursday, Japanese and Canadian leaders discussed their approach to expanding bilateral trade and economic cooperation, as well as the Chinese Communist regime’s growing military assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa on Thursday as part of his visit to the G7 countries, becoming the first Japanese head of government to visit Canada.
The two leaders agreed to expand cooperation in food, energy, critical minerals and technology, and highlighted the “growing and exciting business potential” between Japan and Canada. statement From Trudeau’s office.
At a joint press conference, Prime Minister Trudeau said Canada will host a business delegation from Japan this spring to discuss investment opportunities in batteries and mining. Canada will also send a trade delegation to Japan in October.
Mr. Kishida’s goal is to Strengthen energy cooperation and procure liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Canada to reduce Japan’s dependence on Russian natural gas, which accounts for 9% of Japan’s total LNG.
Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation, through its subsidiary, owns a 15% stake in the Shell-led LNG Canada joint venture, which Prime Minister Trudeau said was “the largest private investment in Canada.” His LNG terminal is being built in British Columbia to supply Canadian natural gas to Asia.
During the meeting, Kishida and Trudeau agreed on the importance of a “cooperative approach” to security challenges in the Indo-Pacific, citing growing concerns about the military claims of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: The two leaders strongly opposed attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force in the East and South China Seas and pledged close cooperation to address issues related to the Communist Party of China.
Both sides also reaffirmed their support for the complete and irreversible dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear weapons.
“At a time when the international order is facing various challenges and the security environment is becoming increasingly severe, we will further strengthen cooperation with Canada in order to maintain and strengthen the peace and stability of the international community as a whole.” Said.
Prime Minister Trudeau called China Japan’s “greatest challenge” and welcomed Japan’s new national security strategy, which calls for the country to possess the ability to fight back.
On December 16, 2022, Japan unveiled its largest military buildup since World War II, announcing a $320 billion plan to buy missiles capable of hitting China and prepare it for a sustained conflict.
Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategywill be published in November 2022, describing the Communist Party of China as an “increasingly destructive global power” and promising closer cooperation with other countries in confronting the CCP on various issues.
UK-Japan Defense Agreement
Prime Minister Kishida signed a defense pact with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London ahead of the Canadian talks, making the UK the first European country to sign a mutual access agreement with Japan.
The agreement is part of a ’tilt’ of UK defense and foreign policy toward the Indo-Pacific following the 2021 Consolidated Review, which recognizes China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific.
The signing comes just weeks after the UK and Japan have worked together with Italy to develop a next-generation combat air fighter under the new Global Combat Aviation Programme.
“Our relationship is stronger than ever, not only in terms of trade and security, but also in terms of values,” Sunak said after welcoming Kishida to the Tower of London where the deal was signed.
He said the reciprocal access agreement was “extremely important” for both countries, “strengthening our commitment to the Indo-Pacific, enhancing economic security, accelerating defense cooperation, and fostering innovation that will create highly skilled jobs.” We are emphasizing our joint efforts to advance.”
Alexander Zhang and Reuters contributed to this report.