Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa

Tuesday, September 13, 2022, 10:36 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.

Novel Coronavirus (Border Measures)

NHK, Iwasawa: I would like to ask about the border measures. The Government’s policy is to gradually ease the border measures. Please tell us what are being considered regarding matters such as eliminating the cap on people entering Japan, accepting independent travelers, and visa exemptions. In addition, please tell us the current analysis on infection conditions both in Japan and overseas, which is the determining factor for easing the measures.

Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: With regard to our future border measures, including the cap on the total people entering Japan, resumption of visa exemption measures, and accepting independent travelers, the Government of Japan is advancing to ease the measures by balancing prevention of the spread of infections with socioeconomic activity. Under this basic idea, we will consider based on infection conditions and needs both in Japan and abroad as well as the situations of border measures of major countries.

Our perception is that although the COVID-19 infection conditions differ depending on the country and region, the general global trend is that the number of new infections and deaths are decreasing.

The Passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (Response to the State Funeral)

Kyodo News, Ueda: I would like to ask about the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II. It is expected that dignitaries from around the world will attend the state funeral for Her Majesty, and President Biden stated that he will attend. Please tell us what is being considered regarding the attendance from the Government of Japan, including for Prime Minister Kishida and yourself.

Minister Hayashi: I would like to again express heartfelt condolences for the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.

I am aware that on September 10, the British Royal Family announced that the state funeral will be held on September 19 local time. Nothing has been decided at this point regarding the response of the Government of Japan.

In any event, Her Majesty 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, and we will consider this matter in an appropriate manner in order to pay our condolences at the state funeral.

United Nations General Assembly

Mainichi Shimbun, Konno: The United Nations General Assembly will be held in New York this weekend. The Prime Minister usually attends the meeting each year. Please tell us your thoughts on the issues and expected results of the General Assembly.

Minister Hayashi: Coordination is underway for Prime Minister Kishida and I to attend the United Nations General Assembly if various circumstances permit. I would like to make this General Assembly a significant opportunity to actively communicate Japan’s views on strengthening the functions of the United Nations including Security Council reforms, nuclear disarmament, and various issues faced by the international community in light of the current international affairs including the situation in Ukraine, as well as to emphasize the role of the United Nations, and confirm cooperation with various countries.

Formulation of the New National Security Strategy

Asahi Shimbun, Nohira: A panel of experts was established regarding revision of the three security-related policy documents, and it is expected that the panel will also discuss financial resources. Amidst this development, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kihara recently indicated that the issuance of government bonds has not been ruled out as a source of financing. Do you share the same view? Please tell us your view on the financial resources.

Minister Hayashi: As the security environment surrounding Japan is becoming increasingly severe, we have decided to formulate a new National Security Strategy by the end of this year. The Government of Japan has already announced its decision to secure an appropriate increase in defense spending to drastically strengthen Japan’s defense capabilities within five years.

I believe that the content and scale of the defense spending will be the subject of consideration during the formulation of the new National Security Strategy and budget compilation. The Government of Japan will also consider the ideal financial resources at the same time.

I believe that the panel of experts will also discuss the ideal financial resources in conjunction with the comprehensive strengthening of Japan’s defense system. I believe we will hear their opinions on ideal financial resources.

United Nations General Assembly (Possibility of a Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) Summit Meeting)

Kyodo News, Ueda: I would like to ask about a Japan-ROK Summit Meeting. A high-ranking official from the Office of the President of the ROK has disclosed that coordination is underway to take the opportunity of President Yoon’s attendance at the UNGA in New York to have some sort of meeting with Prime Minister Kishida. Please tell us the current status of coordination by the Government of Japan.

Minister Hayashi: Nothing has been decided at this point regarding holding a Japan-ROK Summit Meeting.

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