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France, Japan to start talks on reciprocal troops pact

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Friday, 03 May, 2024, 13:30
France, Japan to start talks on reciprocal troops pact

The G7 allies have held numerous joint military exercises in recent years, bilaterally and as part of a wider group. Paris has been pushing for more than a year to begin talks on a reciprocal access agreement (RAA).

RAAs create frameworks to facilitate military cooperation, such as making the entry of foreign personnel and equipment easier for the visiting force.

“They agreed to start negotiations,” a Japanese government official said, as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and President Emmanuel Macron met in Paris. “Given the accumulation of cooperation and (military) exercises, we consider this important.”

A Japanese government statement confirmed that the agreement to move forward with talks. The French presidency said in a statement that concluding the RAA would promote interoperability between the two militaries.

In December 2023, Japan announced its biggest military build-up since World War Two in a step away from its post-war pacifism. It has already signed RAAs with Australia and the United Kingdom and is negotiating a third with the Philippines.