Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Monday congratulated François Hollande on winning France's run-off presidential election, urging him to work together to address issues surrounding Iran's and North Korea's nuclear programs.
Noda sent a message to Hollande on Monday after he won Sunday's run-off vote, beating incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy. The Japanese leader noted in his letter that France and Japan are important partners who share basic values such as democracy and rule of law.
"[Prime Minister Noda] stressed the crucial importance of the two countries cooperating to address current pressing matters such as the North Korean and Iranian nuclear issues," Japan's foreign ministry said in a statement. Noda also convoyed his 'strong intention' to move forward with a Japan-European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
International concerns regarding Iran's nuclear activities have been increasing for decades. And while Iran has repeatedly stated that its nuclear program is for the peaceful purpose of providing energy, many countries contend it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons and may be close to obtain them.
Meanwhile, the international community believes North Korea has finished preparations for a third nuclear test and may soon carry it out. Six-party nuclear disarmament talks have been stalled since late 2008 due to North Korea's anger over United Nations (UN) sanctions. It was followed by a nuclear test in North Korea's North Hamgyong province on May 25, 2009, as well as a series of test-firings of missiles. A nuclear test was earlier also carried out in October 2006.
Hollande, France's first Socialist president in nearly two decades, won Sunday's run-off election with 51.63 percent of the vote, according to official results released by the country's interior ministry. He will be sworn in on May 15. His opponent Sarkozy received 48.37 percent of the vote.