Japan and France: Slowly but Surely Moving Forward on Security Cooperation The Diplomat, 6 February 2017
Despite being geographically distant, France and Japan share a number of converging interests.
French and Japanese Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense met in Paris on January 6 with the purpose of deepening strategic cooperation between the two countries. Gathering for their third 2+2 meeting, the ministers agreed to move forward with the joint development of defense equipment (undersea drones for minesweeping). Discussions on the signing of an ACSA (Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement) were also launched, which could ultimately allow the two countries to share defense supplies and services thus expanding cooperation in peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) operations.
This reflects a new norm for Japan: to inch more toward security cooperation with “like-minded” countries in the military realm as Tokyo’s regional environment is growing more insecure and volatile. However, if European countries, such as France, are deepening cooperation with a country they consider a new proactive security actor, more dialogue is needed to narrow the perceptions and expectations gap to allow for a more substantial partnership.
Read the full article in The Diplomat