(At the Japan Press Club, March 18, 2002)

18 March 2002
Full Text


1. "Strong", "Caring" and "Straightforward" Foreign Policy

(1) Strong: Proactive and action-oriented foreign policy.

(2) Caring: Concern for the weak and impoverished. Understanding of different cultures and traditions.

(3) Straightforward: Easy to understand by the Japanese people and able to enjoy their understanding and support.

2. Current Situation surrounding Japan's Diplomacy

(1)Relations with Neighboring Countries, etc.

  • With U.S.: Confirmed solid bonds on the President Bush visit.
  • With North Korea: Grave concern on security and humanitarian issues.
  • With other neighboring countries: Advancing in a forward-looking manner
    • With China: 30th anniversary of normalization of relations.
    • With ROK: Working toward a successful holding of Year of Japan-ROK National Exchange, Co-hosting of 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan.
    • With ASEAN countries: PM's January visit and its follow-up. Participation in such meetings as ASEAN-PMC, ARF.
    • Russia, European countries: Wide-ranging and close cooperative relations.

(2)Issues Facing the International Community

  • Grave challenge for peace and stability of the international community (eg. terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, regional conflicts)
  • Global threats to the very existence of humanity (eg. poverty, refugees, environmental destruction, infectious diseases)
    • Addressing those issues is important for Japan's own security and prosperity.

3. Terrorism, WMD Proliferation, Conflicts

(1) Fight against terrorism/Afghan situation

  • Sep. 11 was a turning point for the world. Terrorism, WMD, and conflicts are a real threat to ordinary citizens.
  • The international community has been united to fight against terrorism. The fight is long and tough.
    • Suppression of financing for terrorism, Measures against WMD terrorism. (Anti-terrorism conventions, UNSC Res. 1373 etc.)
    • Operation based on the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law.
    • Support for Afghan Nation-Building (political process, internal security, reconstruction)
  • Continued support for the reconstruction process (including demining and anti-narcotics measures)
    • Subject to Diet approval, I would like to visit Afghanistan during Golden Week to exchange views with AIA, international organizations, and NGOs.
    • Importance of cooperation on reconstruction with Afghanistan's neighboring countries, eg. Pakistan, Iran. I would also like to visit Iran at an appropriate timing.

(2) WMD development and proliferation

  • Iraq's case is a serious concern.
  • In international solidarity, continue to call on Iraq to accept UN inspections and engage in dialogue.

(3) Situation in the Palestinian Territories

  • Direct concern for stability of the international community. Japan welcomes the continued effort by the international community on both parties, as well as the initiative taken by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
    • Seizing opportunities such as the visit of Mr. Abu Ala (Ahmad Qrei), Chairman of the Palestinian Legislative Council and Foreign Minister Muasher of Hashemite Kingdom Jordan, I will frankly discuss how to break the deadlock.
    • Supporting those Israelis and the Palestinians who continue to make efforts for peace is important. Japan will consider the possibilities to host a forum.

4. Development Issues

(1) Challenges regarding development

  • Gap between supply and demand in development funds is becoming serious.
  • Development and conservation of the environment must be advanced together.

(2) Participation in international conferences

  • The International Conference on Financing for Development, the G8 Kananaskis Summit, and the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) will take up the issue of development.
    • Regarding WSSD, I wish to attend, should the opportunity arise for appropriate Minister-level representation.
  • Japan will participate in international meetings and will present Japanese views.
    • Through shared responsibility as well as shared knowledge and experience, it is possible to share the benefits of economic growth, social stability and environmental conservation on a global scale.
    • Shift in perception, to focus on development outputs (improvements to peoples livelyhood) rather than inputs (volume of asisstance and investment).
    • Global warming issue is important from the perspective of coexistence of the environment and development. Japan will continue to seek a constructive response from the United States, while endeavoring towards the formulation of international rules with the perticipation of developing nations.

(3) Enhancing efficiency in and transparency of ODA

  • Reform efforts will be made as an objective in the Ten Reform Principles to Ensure an Open Foreign Ministry.
  • Reform will be made based on the final report on the Consultative Committee on ODA Reform.

(4) Development of Africa

  • Issues such as conflict, refugees, poverty, infectious diseases and environmental issues are concentrated in Africa.
  • Move towards ownership in Africa has gained momentum (New Partnership for Africa's Development, Inauguration of African Union).
  • Japan has led the international community on issues surrounding Africa (promotion of the TICAD process, bilateral assistance, dialogue with developing countries at the 2000 G8 Kyushu-Okinawa summit, etc).
    • I will designate the period until the upcoming TICAD III later next year as the "Year for Soaring Cooperation with Africa", and will take active measures.
    • I wish to visit Africa in the near future, and frankly exchange opinions with government officials from respective countries, Japan Overseas Volunteers and NGO representatives.

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