Minister Garneau and Japan’s Foreign Minister Motegi expand Indo-Pacific cooperation

News release

May 3, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today met with Motegi Toshimitsu, Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the margins of the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers’ Meeting, in London, United Kingdom.

The two ministers underlined the long-standing relationship of their countries, which is underpinned by a rich history of cooperation and a shared desire to promote greater peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. They highlighted the many shared values, including support for the rules-based international order and the commitment to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region, as expressed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japan’s then-prime minister, Abe Shinzo, in April 2019 and reaffirmed by Prime Minister Trudeau and Japan’s current prime minister, Suga Yoshihide, in February 2021.

Building on the leaders’ shared vision, the ministers agreed on six areas of bilateral cooperation that will benefit both countries and advance common interests in the Indo-Pacific region. These six areas are the rule of law, security cooperation, energy security, health, trade promotion, and the environment and climate change.

The two ministers underscored the importance of promoting peace and security in the region, including countering North Korea’s maritime sanctions evasion. Minister Garneau emphasized Canada’s commitment to regional security, noting that he and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, recently announced the renewal of Operation NEON, Canada’s contribution to a coordinated multinational effort to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed against North Korea.

The ministers exchanged views on other ongoing priorities, including relations with China, the military coup in Myanmar, cooperation on international trade, closer Canada-Japan collaboration on climate change, and the upcoming Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games. Minister Garneau also expressed gratitude for Japan’s endorsement of the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State relations.

Finally, the two ministers expressed enthusiasm for working together bilaterally and multilateral forums, including through the G7, to uphold shared values, promote economic cooperation and trade, and defend a rules-based international order.


“The Indo-Pacific region will continue to be a driving force for growth in the coming decades. Today, Canada and Japan build on a strong and longstanding partnership to strengthen cooperation to advance common interests in the region and ensure it remains free and open.”

- Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • Canada and Japan have committed to deepening their bilateral strategic partnership and to cooperating in multilateral forums.

  • Both Canada and Japan are members of the G7, G20, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, Asian Development Bank, Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum, and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

  • Canada and Japan closely collaborate in supporting the rules-based multilateral trading system and are key partners in ongoing WTO reform efforts, including through the Ottawa Group on WTO reform.

  • Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada and Japan have worked closely in multilateral forums, including the G7, G20 and World Health Organization, to coordinate responses to it.

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