Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

September 2, 2019

H.E. Dr. Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic,
H.E. Alessandro Azzoni, Permanent Representative of Italy to the OSCE, Chair of the Contact Group with the OSCE Asian Partners for Cooperation,
H.E. Ambassador Paul Bekkers, Director of the Office of the Secretary General of the OSCE,
Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all those who have contributed to the preparations for the 2019 OSCE Asian Conference.
I also wish to express my appreciation for this splendid soirée hosted by Italy.

Japan has been the OSCE's Asian Partner since 1992 and this is the 5th Conference held in our country. The Japanese Foreign Minister who convened the 1st Conference in 2000 was my father, KONO Yohei. Later, in 2018, I had the honor of visiting the OSCE headquarters. This was the first ever visit to the headquarters by a Japanese Foreign Minister. Our enduring partnership is proof of the great importance Japan attaches to the OSCE.

This time, we have picked a timely topic, “How to achieve comprehensive security in the digital era”.

The development of science and technology generates not only social benefits but also new threats to the international community. It would be difficult for any country to address such challenges alone, so coordination among the members of the international community as a whole is essential.

That is the reason why I think that the OSCE, an organization that has been building confidence among various countries for decades, is in a particularly important position to tackle those new challenges in our digitized international community.

Lastly, I would like to conclude by expressing my hope that tomorrow's session will be successful, and consolidate relations between the OSCE and the Asian Partnership countries.

Thank you.

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