Abe, Merkel in accord over Ukraine, ISIL

Abe, Merkel in accord over Ukraine, ISIL
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel (wearing blue jacket) talks with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (2nd R) during their meeting at Abe's official residence in Tokyo March 9, 2015.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday agreed to co-operate over a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ukraine and counterterrorism measures against such insurgents as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

"Japan and Germany agreed to take active roles for realizing peace and stability in Ukraine," Abe said at a joint press conference following the summit meeting, adding the situation in Ukraine is "no longer an issue only limited to Europe as a region."

"We share the same values and interests and we'll strengthen them further," Merkel said, expressing her intention to jointly work with Japan on a range of issues, including counterterrorism measures and Iran's nuclear programme.

On the economic front, Abe and Merkel agreed that Japan and European Union nations would seek "a broad accord on an economic partnership agreement within 2015."

Merkel visited Japan for the first time since 2008, when she attended the Group of Eight summit meeting in Toyako, Hokkaido.

The situation in Ukraine and counterterrorism measures will likely be the key items discussed at the Group of Seven summit meeting slated for June in Germany.

Japan will host the gathering next year after taking over the G-7 chairmanship from Germany.

During their talks at the Prime Minister's Office, Abe and Merkel also agreed to jointly work on measures against global warming, promoting personnel and intellectual exchanges, and reform of the UN Security Council.

The Japanese and German governments, in co-operation with Brazil and India, have backed a proposal to increase the number of permanent council members.

Prior to her talks with Abe, Merkel met the Emperor.

She also gave a lecture in Tokyo, during which she expressed her readiness to further strengthen bilateral co-operation in such fields as business and science technology.

"This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, while 25 years have passed since the end of the Cold War. Germany and Japan have both achieved prominent development," Merkel said.

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