Japanese FM Announces $24 Billion For Iraq, Syria And Neighboring Countries

Japanese FM Announces $24 Billion For Iraq, Syria And Neighboring Countries

 Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida announced a planned aid package worth 24 billion dollars for Syria, Iraq and neighboring countries.

Japanese ministers, including Kishida, held a meeting with the French minister for foreign affairs and the minister of defense in Paris for the third session of a political-military dialogue between the two countries.

The ministers also highlighted the need to augment the international community's efforts to combat terrorist threats, specifically by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

Established in 2014, the dialogue is a venue to discuss global issues including those in the Asia-Pacific region, notably the actions of North Korea, and to advance the cooperation between France and Japan on security and defense.

"In the Asia Pacific region, we take note in particular of the nuclear and ballistic program of North Korea, and the attempt to unilaterally modify the status-quo using force in the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Hence, the security situation in the region keeps getting tougher," Kishida said in a joint statement after a round-table discussion.

French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault echoed concerns over North Korea, saying: "As far as we're concerned, we are going to pursue our efforts to bring this country to give up its nuclear and ballistic program, that are serious threats to peace and international and regional security."

The U.S. said that North Korea had demonstrated a "qualitative" improvement in its nuclear and missile capabilities after an unprecedented level of tests last year, showing the need to sustain pressure on Pyongyang to bring it back to disarmament negotiations.

The Japanese ministers recognized France's contribution to maintaining regional piece, notably with its consistent naval presence in maritime areas, including the Indian and Pacific Ocean.

Ayrault also expressed France's commitment to solve the case of Japanese student Narumi Kurosaki, who has been missing in the eastern French city of Besancon since December 4.

A prosecutor has said Kurosaki was most likely murdered, while an international warrant has been issued against a key suspect, the student's ex-boyfriend from Chile.