Tokyo (AFP)

French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been visiting Tokyo since Friday for the opening of the Olympic Games, met with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Saturday before meeting with some major Japanese business owners, including that of Nissan.

In the morning, the French head of state attended a judo fight as part of the Olympics.


Macron and Suga, who met at Akasaka's neo-baroque palace in the heart of Tokyo, have not commented on the press.

On Twitter, Mr. Macron praised the "exceptional" partnership between France and Japan.

“At a time when we are all fighting against the virus, when we are starting to relaunch, this partnership is a strength”.

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In a joint statement released after their interview, MM.

Macron and Suga recalled the importance of achieving a "free and open Indo-Pacific, inclusive and based on the rule of law", while the ambitions of China in the region raise concerns both on the Japanese side and among the Western powers.

They also spoke of Franco-Japanese cooperation in the fight against global warming which is "not a constraint but a vector of innovation and job creation", and expressed the wish to "strengthen" economic ties. and trade between the two countries.

On the thorny issue of parental kidnappings in Japan, the joint statement is laconic: France and Japan "undertake to strengthen their dialogue, in the best interests of the children".

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This tolerated and common practice in Japan, where the principle of shared custody does not legally exist, was again publicized with the hunger strike started two weeks ago by Vincent Fichot, a French resident in Tokyo who does not has not seen his two children since his Japanese wife left their home with them almost three years ago.

Advisers to Mr. Macron had visited Mr. Fichot on Thursday, who is camping day and night in front of a station near the Olympic stadium in Tokyo.

Asked Thursday by AFP, Mr. Fichot said he was "disappointed" with this meeting and intends to continue his action.

"The French authorities" have no ill will, but this will is not strong enough "to really put pressure on Japan, which according to Mr. Fichot and many other relatives in his situation, does not respect its commitments international agreements on children's rights. "I need results, not symbolic acts," he added.

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The French president then praised the economic attractiveness of France to some bosses of large Japanese companies invited, including the CEO of Nissan, Makoto Uchida.

In the morning, Mr. Macron attended the fight of the French judokate Shirine Boukli (category of -48 kg), beaten on entry by the Serbian Milica Nikolic.

He was to see 3x3 women's basketball in the late afternoon before flying to French Polynesia in the early evening.

© 2021 AFP