Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa
Tuesday, July 5, 2022, 10:09 a.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(1) Foreign Minister Hayashi’s Attendance at the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (Indonesia)
Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I would like to make two announcements.
I will visit Bali, Indonesia from July 7 to 8 to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.
During the meeting, as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, I will actively communicate Japan’s position and efforts regarding important matters in the current international affairs, including the ideal state of multilateralism and issues such as food and energy.
(2) Assistance for Global Food Security
Minister Hayashi: Second, we have decided today on the specific content in relation to Prime Minister Kishida’s announcement on June 27 at the G7 Summit. In the summit, he announced that Japan would provide assistance of approximately $200 million in response to global food security, which has deteriorated further due to the situation in Ukraine.
Due to the situation in Ukraine, the situation surrounding food security is worsening particularly in the Middle East, Africa, and other areas. The assistance will be provided on a bilateral basis and through organizations such as the World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the amount of approximately $100 million in food assistance and capacity building support for countries facing food shortages In addition, Japan will provide $100 million in Emergency Grant Aid and food-related assistance through Japanese NGOs as to meet emergency needs. This Emergency Grant Aid includes support for grain storage capacity building to promote grain exports from Ukraine.
On June 24, I attended the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting as well as the Ministerial Conference hosted by Germany, and participated in the discussions. Japan will continue to work to ensure global food security in cooperation with the international community, including the G7. That is all from me.
Foreign Minister Hayashi’s Attendance at the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (Indonesia) (Response to the Participation by the Foreign Minister of Russia)
Asahi Shimbun, Nohira: Regarding the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which you mentioned in your opening remarks, Foreign Minister Lavrov of Russia is expected to attend. There has been cases of ministers leaving their seats at international conferences following the invasion of Ukraine in order to demonstrate their protest. How will you respond this time?
Minister Hayashi: Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the international community considers that it is no longer possible to maintain the same relationship with Russia, as they have been.
With this in mind, if Foreign Minister Lavrov participates, I will cooperate with various relevant countries and firmly state Japan’s position regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has undermined the foundation of the international order.
Sakhalin-2 Project (Russian Presidential Decree)
NHK, Aoki: I would like to ask about the Russian presidential decree regarding Sakhalin-2. Please tell us your view of the project at this point. Moreover, regarding the presidential decree to transfer the project to a new company, I believe that the intention of Japanese companies are being called into question. Please tell us if the Government of Japan believes that this decree will maintain Japanese companies’ interests in the project.
Minister Hayashi: Sakhalin-2 is an important project for energy security, including the stable supply of electricity and gas in Japan.
The presidential decree will not immediately stop LNG imports from Sakhalin-2. Regarding the presidential decree, the Government of Japan will closely examine the content of matters such as the treatment of the interests of Japanese companies in the Sakhalin-2 project as well as the impact on Japan’s LNG imports from the Sakhalin-2 project. The Government of Japan is also gathering information, by requesting an explanation from the Russian side through diplomatic channels.
The Government of Japan will carefully consider response measures in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in order to ensure the stable supply of LNG.
NHK, Aoki: I would like to ask a related question. You mentioned that Japan is requesting an explanation through diplomatic channels. What concerns do you have and how specifically are you requesting an explanation?
Minister Hayashi: As I stated before, the Government of Japan must closely examine the content of matters such as the treatment of the interests of Japanese companies in the Sakhalin-2 project as well as the impact on LNG imports from the project due to the presidential decree. We are requesting Russia to give an explanation from these and other viewpoints.
Foreign Minister Hayashi’s Attendance at the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (Indonesia)
Mainichi Shimbun, Aoki: Excuse me for going back to the previous topic. I believe the G20 foreign ministers will discuss important matters. What in particular would Japan like to focus on conveying? Also, what is the current status of coordination for bilateral meetings and what kind of determination do you have for these meetings?
Minister Hayashi: At this year’s G20 meeting, as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, I will firmly communicate Japan’s position on important matters amidst the current international affairs, including the ideal state of multilateralism and issues such as food and energy.
In addition, nothing has been decided regarding bilateral meetings at this point.
Navigation by Chinese and Russian Military Vessels Within Japan’s Contiguous Zone Surrounding the Senkaku Islands / Intrusion by China Coast Guard Vessels into Japan’s Territorial Waters
Yomiuri Shimbun, Yoda: Movements by Chinese and Russian navy vessels in the waters off the Senkaku Islands are becoming increasingly active. Early this morning, a China Coast Guard vessel intruded into Japan’s territorial waters. Please tell us your reaction to this.
Minister Hayashi: At around 7:44 a.m., on July 4, a Chinese navy vessel entered Japan’s contiguous zone surrounding the Senkaku Islands.
Due to this, Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Shigeo Yamada lodged a protest stating serious concerns to Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou, and requested to take measures to prevent recurrence.
The Senkaku Islands are indisputably an inherent part of the territory of Japan in light of historical facts and based upon international law, and are, in fact, effectively under the Japanese control. In the first place, there exists no issue of territorial sovereignty to be resolved concerning the Senkaku Islands. I believe that it is necessary for the Government of Japan to firmly and perpetually defend Japan’s territorial land, sea and airspace and continue to deal with the situation in a resolute and calm manner while firmly maintaining its position.
Furthermore, in response to a Russian navy vessel navigating within Japan’s contiguous zone surrounding the Senkaku Islands from 7:05 to 8:16 a.m., Japan expressed strong interest about the movement of the Russian army within the waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands and have urged the Russian side to take appropriate measures.
In addition, at around 4:30 a.m. today, two vessels belonging to the China Coast Guard intruded into Japan’s territorial waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands and attempted to approach a Japanese fishing boat that was navigating within the same area. I believe that both vessels are still within Japan’s territorial waters.
Such movements by vessels belonging to the China Coast Guard are a violation of international law. Japan has lodged a severe protest with regard to this matter through diplomatic channels, and urged the vessels to immediately leave Japan’s territorial waters.
It is truly regrettable and unacceptable that vessels belonging to the China Coast Guard have intruded into Japan’s territorial waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands. Japan will continue to respond to the Chinese side in a calm and resolute manner.
Foreign Minister Hayashi’s Attendance at the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (Indonesia)
Kyodo News, Maeda: I would like to confirm how you will respond when Foreign Minister Lavrov attends the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which you mentioned earlier. You stated that you will cooperate with various relevant countries and firmly state Japan’s position. Does this mean that you will stay in the venue and precisely convey Japan’s view?
Minister Hayashi: I would like to firmly state Japan’s position. As for our specific response to Russia, we will appropriately respond in cooperation with relevant countries.