Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa

Friday, September 9, 2022, 10:37 a.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

(Video) Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI
This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.

Opening Remarks

(1) The Passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I have two announcements.

Last night, just after I had a telephone talk with Mr. James Cleverly, newly appointed Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the United Kingdom, I was informed of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I would like to express my sincere condolences to the Royal Family, the Government of the United Kingdom and the British people.

Her Majesty ascended to the throne in 1952 and played a tremendous role working for global peace and prosperity during her 70-year-reign as the longest serving monarch in the history of the British Royal Family.

The development of the Japan-UK bilateral ties was supported by the traditional friendly relations between the Japanese Imperial Family and the British Royal Family, thanks to Her Majesty’s great contributions, including her visit to Japan in 1975.

Amidst the turbulent global situation, the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who led the United Kingdom, is a great loss not only to the British people but also to the international community. I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences. Japan’s thoughts are with the British people as they overcome this deep sadness.

(2) Revision of the Development Cooperation Charter

Minister Hayashi: The second announcement is about the Development Cooperation Charter, which defines Japan’s basic policy of development cooperation. Considering the major changes in the relevant situations since its formulation in 2015, we have decided to revise the Charter in order to update the approaches that Japan’s development cooperation should take in keeping with the times and implement them more effectively and strategically.

In the midst of the dramatically changing international situation, Japan continues to meet the expectations and trust of international community, to protect universal values such as freedom and democracy, and at the same time to ensure the peace and prosperity of Japan.In this context, it is essential to further utilize the Official Development Assistance (ODA) as an important diplomatic tool.

Amidst such a situation, through this revision, we aim to clarify the role that ODA should play today and define the direction of future development cooperation. Specifically, we will consider the following points: firstly, protecting the international order based on universal values and strengthening cooperation to promote the principle of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific;” secondly, further promoting the development of the environment in which the world and Japan will prosper together; and thirdly, leading the international initiatives to solve global issues and promoting human security in the new era.

In order to receive views and opinions from relevant experts in a range of different fields on these points, I will establish a panel of experts, which will be led by Professor NAKANISHI Hiroshi from the Graduate School of Law, Kyoto University. Taking into consideration the discussions among the panel of experts and a wide range of opinions of the general public, the Government of Japan will work to formulate a new Development Cooperation Charter, aiming to complete it by the first half of next year. Further details will be covered during a press release to follow. That is all from me.

A Decade Has Passed Since the Nationalization of the Senkaku Islands

Kyodo News, Fukuda: The day after tomorrow, September 11, will mark a decade since the nationalization of the Senkaku Islands. Please tell us your reaction to this matter. In addition, there have been frequent provocative actions by Chinese government vessels confirmed in the areas around the Senkaku Islands, such as intrusion into Japan’s territorial waters or navigation through Japan’s contiguous zone. How do you think the Government of Japan should respond to this issue? Please tell us these two points.

Minister Hayashi: There is no doubt that the Senkaku Islands are clearly an inherent part of the territory of Japan, in light of historical facts and based upon international law. Indeed, the Senkaku Islands are under the valid control of Japan.

Since December 2008, in the waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands, China Coast Guard ships have repeatedly intruded into Japan’s territorial waters, including the incident that occurred yesterday, and the situation remains unpredictable. The Government of Japan has serious concerns over the situation.

The Government of Japan will continue to respond firmly but in a calm manner based on the policy to resolutely protect the lives and properties of its people and defend its territorial land, sea, and airspace. At the same time, we will take all possible measures to conduct monitoring and surveillance activities in the waters and air space surrounding the Senkaku Islands in close coordination with all the relevant ministries and agencies.

State Funeral for the Late Former Prime Minister Abe

Pan Orient News, Azhari: Outstanding heads of state and cabinet ministers from foreign and Arab countries plan to attend the state funeral of late prime minister Abe, including also other officials. So active funeral diplomacy would be active. Is Japan planning to hold bilateral and or trilateral summits with leaders and what are the issues you want to discuss. Thank you.

Minister Hayashi: Regarding foreign attendees to the State Funeral, so far,Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong, President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen and President of the European Council Charles Michel, the former Prime Ministers of Australia John Howard, Anthony John Abbott and Malcolm Bligh Turnbull have expressed their intention to attend.

Accordingly, during the State Funeral, many foreign dignitaries are expected to visit Japan. From the day before the State Funeral to the following day, bilateral meetings at the leader’s level and the foreign minister’s level are planned to be held as intensively as possible. Although it is not yet at the stage of discussing specific topics for the meetings, we want to show both domestically and internationally the intention of Japan that we will firmly inherit the diplomatic legacy nurtured and developed by former Prime Minister Abe and develop it further.

Asahi Shimbun, Nohira: I would like to ask about something related to the question that has just been asked. Special meetings during the closed session of the diet were held yesterday to discuss the state funeral. During the meeting, many pointed out the ambiguity of the criteria for making the ceremony a state funeral. Do you think that the Prime Minister’s questions and answers session held yesterday successfully alleviated these suspicions of the people of Japan?

Minister Hayashi: I understand that, at yesterday’s special meetings held by the Committee on Rules and Administration during the closed session of the diet, Prime Minister Kishida explained the significance of conducting the State Funeral. The Government of Japan will continue to provide thorough explanations on this matter.

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