Press Conferences

Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa

Thursday, February 24, 2022, 7:42 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.

Opening Remarks

Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: After receiving information about Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, I summoned the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Japan Mr. Galuzin to MOFA.

It is very regrettable that Russia has invaded Ukraine despite the urging at various levels, including by Prime Minister Kishida, that a solution should have been sought that was acceptable to relevant countries through diplomatic negotiations, rather than a unilateral change to the status quo by force.

I conveyed to Ambassador Galuzin that Russia’s incursion against Ukraine is nothing but an infringement of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and is clearly a violation of international law. I also conveyed that unilateral change of the status quo by force is absolutely unacceptable and that Japan strongly condemns the invasion. I also stated that Russia should immediately stop the invasion of Ukraine and withdraw its forces back to Russia.

In addition, I strongly demanded that the safety of civilians, including Japanese citizens, and third-country citizens should be protected unconditionally.

Japan will work in cooperation with the international community, including the G7, toward improving the situation. That is all from me.

When I explained what I conveyed to the Russian Ambassador at the beginning, I meant to say that I told the ambassador that Russia invaded Ukraine. I might have said “incursion”, but I actually used the word “invasion.”

Question-and-Answer Session

Reporter: During your discussion with Ambassador Galuzin, did he make any statement regarding the negotiations on the Northern Territories? If so, please tell us the content if you can. Amidst the current situation, how will you approach the territory negotiations?

Minister Hayashi: It is as I stated earlier regarding our discussion.

I would like to refrain from answering based on speculation about the effects to the negotiations on the Northern Territories and the joint economic activities. Japan’s position on the current situation is as I conveyed to Ambassador Galuzin earlier.

Reporter: During your discussion earlier, I believe that Ambassador Galuzin justified Russia’s actions by referring to them as a special military operation. Did he have a reaction or opinion about the economic sanctions announced yesterday by Prime Minister Kishida?

Minister Hayashi: Ambassador Galuzin mainly repeated what Russia has been claiming until now. I would like to refrain from commenting on any further details as this is diplomatic communication. In any event, I requested that Ambassador Galuzin accurately convey what I told him today back to Russia.

Reporter: Did you explain today the Government of Japan’s position so far of taking measures such as sanctions in cooperation with the G7?

Minister Hayashi: It is as I stated earlier regarding what I told Ambassador Galuzin.

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