Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa

Friday, September 16, 2022, 10:47 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) Foreign Minister Hayashi’s Attendance at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly

Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: First of all, I will be visiting New York from September 19 to 24. The UN General Assembly has opened, and, taking this opportunity of the High-Level Week, which brings together the leaders and ministers of many countries, I am scheduled to attend various meetings including the Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the G4 Countries on UN Security Council Reform, the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the “Partners in the Blue Pacific,” the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the COVID-19 Global Action Plan Foreign Ministerial Meeting, and the Japan-Australia-India-U.S. (Quad) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. In addition, I will be actively holding meetings with foreign ministers and other representatives of various countries on this occasion.

This year’s UN General Assembly takes place whilethe foundation of the international order has been threatened by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The Government of Japan intends to share with other countries our understanding of the importance of the “rule of law,” which is a principle of the international order, the central role that the UN should play in upholding that, and the strengthening of the functions of the UN as a whole, including Security Council reform. We will also reaffirm close cooperation with various countries on international affairs, such as the Indo-Pacific and Ukraine, as well as the challenges faced by the international community, among other issues.

(2) Venue of the G7 Trade Ministers Meeting 2023

Minister Hayashi: Next, at today’s Cabinet meeting, the Chief Cabinet Secretary stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry would jointly host the G7 Trade Ministers’ Meeting 2023 in Osaka.

Osaka is a leading Japanese trading hub that is home to Kansai International Airport and Osaka Port, and is one of Japan’s foremost cities in terms of trade.

Osaka also hosted the G20 Osaka Summit 2019 and has a strong track record of holding international conferences. We therefore believe that it is an appropriate city to hold the Trade Ministers’ Meeting.

MOFA will make preparations to ensure the smooth holding of the Trade Ministers’ Meeting, as well as the G7 Hiroshima Summit and the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, in cooperation with relevant organizations and the municipalities of the respective meeting venues.

(3) Emergency Grant Aid for Sri Lanka and Pakistan

Minister Hayashi: I have one last announcement. On September 16, the Government of Japan decided to extend Emergency Grant Aid of 3.5 million US dollars in total to support Sri Lanka.

Although Japan has already provided Sri Lanka with Emergency Grant Aid of 3 million US dollars in May, the economic situation in the country has continued to deteriorate since then, resulting in growing humanitarian needs. In response to the situation, Japan will provide the additional Emergency Grant Aid of 3.5 million US dollars through the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNIECF) in a way that will directly benefit the people of Sri Lanka.

On September 16, the Government of Japan also decided to extend Emergency Grant Aid of 7 million US dollars to Pakistan in response to the damage caused by the flood disaster that has affected various areas in Pakistan. Specifically, this Emergency Grand Aid will enable the implementation of humanitarian assistance activities such as food, non-food essential items, water and sanitation, as well as health and medical care through multiple international organizations.

Japan hopes that this assistance will contribute to overcoming the hardship faced by the people of Sri Lanka and Pakistan, with whom Japan has long-standing and amicable relations.

That is all from me.

Twenty Years Since the Signing of the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration

Kyodo News, Fukuda: Tomorrow (September 17) marks the 20th anniversary of the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration. However, today, Ambassador Song Il-Ho, who is in charge of the Japan-North Korea negotiations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of North Korea, made a statement on the declaration that “Japan has only rendered it null.” Please tell us the reaction of the Government of Japan to this statement.

Minister Hayashi: I would like to refrain from commenting on each individual action taken by North Korea including the one that you have just mentioned. However, in accordance with the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration, Japan has consistently aimed to reach a comprehensive resolution of various issues such as abductions, nuclear and missiles issues, to settle the unfortunate past, and normalize relations with North Korea, and there is no change to the Government of Japan’s policy.

United Nations General Assembly (Meeting of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) Friends)

Chugoku Shimbun, Higuchi: Could you tell us about the significance and desired outcome of the Meeting of the CTBT Friends that the Government of Japan is convening in conjunction with the UN General Assembly? As the CTBT will not come into force unless nuclear weapon states, including the United States and China, ratify the treaty, how the Government of Japan engages them is considered important. Please tell us your thoughts on this.

Minister Hayashi: The details, including attendees, of the meeting you mentioned are now being coordinated. What I can say is that Prime Minister Kishida called for constructive contribution by the State Parties at the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and Japan is planning to convene a meeting of the CTBT Friends during this year’s UN General Assembly. Prime Minister Kishida’s attendance is currently being coordinated.

Japan places great importance on the CTBT’s early entry into force as a realistic and practical initiative aimed at realizing a world without nuclear weapons. Through this meeting, Japan aims to demonstrate the firm solidarity of the international community towards realizing this goal.

China-Russia Summit Meeting

TV Asahi, Sawai: In the evening of September 15, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of China Xi Jinping held their first meeting since the invasion of Ukraine, in conjunction with the 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

It is assumed that this is to show their unity between the two countries prior to the High-Level Week of the UN General Assembly. Please tell us the reaction of the Government of Japan to this matter.

Minister Hayashi: I am aware that a Summit meeting was held on September 15 between Chinese President Xi and Russian President Putin, who were visiting Uzbekistan to attend the Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO. Based on the published contents and various media reports, I understand that regional situations that are of interest to Japan and the region were discussed in the meeting.

I would like to refrain from commenting on a meeting between third countries but we believe that it is necessary to carefully ascertain the development of China-Russia relations following the recent meeting.

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