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Japan, Italy to beef up cooperation in various areas

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published June 14,2024
Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni (R) greets Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (L) during a welcome ceremony for the G7 summit in Borgo Egnazia, southern Italy, 13 June 2024. (EPA Photo)

Japan and Italy agreed on an action plan Friday to strengthen cooperation in diplomacy, defense, and economic security amid rising global tensions.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni met in Fasano, Italy, during a G7 summit to finalize the plan, according to a statement by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The agreement included seven areas of focus including cooperation in diplomacy, defense, and economic security, highlighting the need for enhanced collaboration amid China's military rise and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Economy, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, academic, scientific and technical fields, and food and agriculture were other cooperation areas between the two nations.

"With a common recognition that the security of Europe and that of the Indo-Pacific are inseparable, and with the shared goal of contributing to the safeguarding of international peace and stability, Japan and Italy will continue to work together to address today's global challenges," the statement noted.

Japan's constitution, which renounces war, has traditionally restricted defense exports. However, Tokyo has relaxed these restrictions since 2014, allowing for conditional defense equipment development.

Notably, Japan plans to co-develop next-generation fighter jets with the UK and Italy by 2035, marking its first such joint defense equipment development.

Japan has signed defense agreements with 16 other nations, including Australia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the UK, the U.S., Vietnam, and Ukraine.