On 15 April, the EU and Japan held consultations on security and defence by video conference. In particular, they discussed operational cooperation for maritime security, following joint naval exercises in the Gulf of Aden in October 2020 and in the Arabian Sea in February 2021, as well as a joint port call on Djibouti in October 2020.
The EU and Japan are determined to pursue their cooperation to protect freedom of navigation and promote maritime security through training initiatives and operational activities at sea. They aim to extend their cooperation to other partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
Furthermore, the EU and Japan discussed capacity building for the benefit of partners in Southeast Asia and in Africa, and identified synergies and avenues for future cooperation in this field. They also discussed the implementation of activities under the EU project “Enhancing Security Cooperation in and with Asia”, which facilitates the sharing of experience in the areas of maritime security, counter terrorism, cyber security and crisis management. Finally, they addressed the implications of infectious diseases for security and defence.
The meeting was co-chaired by Ms Alison Weston, Head of Division for Partnerships and Agreements of the European External Action Service, and by Mr Shogo Yoshitake, Director of European Policy Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, and Mr Koji Yoshino, Director of International Policy Division at the Ministry of Defence.