On Thursday 31 May, Mr. François de Rugy, President of the National Assembly of the French Republic, who was in Japan at the invitation of the House of Representatives of Japan, visited the House with his delegation and met with Mr. Tadamori Oshima, Speaker; Mr. Hirotaka Akamatsu, Vice-Speaker; Mr. Keiji Furuya, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Rules and Administration; Mr. Masatoshi Ishida, Mr. Yoshio Maki, and Mr. Wataru Ito, Directors of the Committee; and Mr. Kazuma Nakatani, Mr. Hajime Hirota, Mr. Tetsuya Shiokawa, and Mr. Takashi Endo, Members of the Committee.
Speaker Oshima began by welcoming the delegation to Japan. He expressed his hope that Mr. de Rugy's visit this year, celebrating the 160th anniversary of Japan-France diplomatic relations, would help further parliamentary exchange between the two countries. Mr. Oshima complimented Mr. de Rugy for his leadership in parliamentary reforms underway in France, and gave his thanks for the support Japan received from France after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the resulting tsunami on 11 March 2011. He then stated that Japan's cooperation with France and the EU, which share values with Japan, was vital in addressing global issues.
In reply, Mr. de Rugy thanked Mr. Oshima for his welcome. After explaining that Mr. de Rugy and his fellow parliamentarians were promoting parliamentary exchange between France and Japan, he welcomed Mr. Oshima's visit to France in the near future. Mr. de Rugy stressed the importance of furthering bilateral exchange in the areas of trade, economy and technology, as well as the importance of free trade, and expressed hope for the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to enter into force early.
They also talked about other subjects including issues of climate change and North Korea, and the situation in Iran.