Kishida, Italian PM Meloni agree to join forces on global issues

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni have agreed to join forces to address a range of global issues, including Ukraine and nuclear disarmament.

Their meeting in Tokyo on Monday also marked the handover of the Group of Seven presidency from Japan to Italy.

Kishida expressed his appreciation for Meloni's commitment to building on the achievements of last year's G7 summit in Hiroshima. He told Meloni that Japan will do all it can to help Italy host a successful summit in June.

Kishida and Meloni confirmed that their countries will work together to tackle a range of global issues, including the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, as well as nuclear disarmament and artificial intelligence.

Kishida and Meloni said they welcome progress made on the development of next-generation fighter aircraft in a joint project involving Japan, Italy and the United Kingdom. The two also agreed to boost bilateral security cooperation through a series of initiatives, including a planned meeting next month of foreign affairs and defense officials from the countries.

Kishida later told reporters that Meloni's visit to Japan was a good opportunity to deepen bilateral ties. He said Italy is a strategic partner for Japan, and that Tokyo is ready to work with Rome to achieve global peace and stability.