Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary ONO Hikariko
Wednesday, August 24, 2022, 2:47 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
Mainichi Shimbun, Kusakabe: I would like to ask about the NPT Review Conference. The session is now in the final week, and in the process of finishing the final document. Please tell us the current state of discussions. Furthermore, I believe Prime Minister Kishida attended the beginning of the session and gave a speech. What effects did his speech had on the discussions during the session?
Ms. ONO Hikariko, Press Secretary: It is true that talks are being held now at the NPT Review Conference. I would like to refrain from speculating about Japan’s positions in the talks and the results of the conference at this point.
If I were to say anything further, it would be that the NPT is the cornerstone of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, with participation by nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states. I believe it is important for the international community to unite and reaffirm its commitment to maintain and strengthen the NPT.
Prime Minister Kishida visited New York from July 31 to August 1 in order to attend the 10th NPT Review Conference. Through this visit, I believe he demonstrated to the international community Japan’s strong commitment to the NPT as well as our determination and specific efforts towards a “world without nuclear weapons.”
In any event, as I stated at the beginning, the discussions are being held now, so I would like to refrain from replying based on speculation about the results of the conference at this point. As for MOFA, based on Prime Minister Kishida’s instructions, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Takei is attending the conference now. The Government of Japan’s policy is to continue to exert all efforts, and to appeal for all the states parties to make constructive responses while cooperating with relevant countries until the end.
Asahi Shimbun, Takahashi: In relation to the question just now, there have been reports that it may be quite difficult for an agreement document to be reached. What does the Government of Japan think would be good to include in the agreement document at a minimum? In addition, if an agreement is not reached during this conference, there are concerns that the ongoing division since the previous conference will become even clearer. What are your thoughts on this?
Press Secretary Ono: I would like to refrain from answering based on speculation regarding the outcome document because the discussions are currently underway.
As I stated earlier, the Government of Japan will exert all efforts, and appeal for all the states parties to make constructive responses while cooperating with relevant countries until the end.
Your latter question was speculative, so I would like to refrain from answering based on speculation at this point.
The Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 8)
NHK, Iwasawa: I would like to ask about TICAD 8, which is scheduled to be held this weekend. Amidst the current international affairs in which Russia is continuing its aggression against Ukraine, please tell us your thoughts on the significance of holding TICAD this time and the direction of Japan’s support for Africa going forward.
Press Secretary Ono: The Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, also known as TICAD 8, will be held over a two-day period from August 27 to August 28 in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. Foreign Minister Hayashi will visit Tunisia as the Special Envoy of Prime Minister Kishida. He will attend the conference as the representative of Prime Minister Kishida, who is the co-chair of TICAD 8, and also plans to hold meetings with various African countries and others.
The summit leaders of Japan and African countries, the co-sponsors of TICAD 8, and others will participate in the conference.
COVID-19 as well as Russia’s aggression against Ukraine have had a major impact on Africa’s economy and society. Amidst this, we recognize that international cooperation is now more important than ever.
Through TICAD 8, Japan’s policy is to take its own style of people-centric approach as a “partner in growth” with Africa to together realize a resilient, sustainable Africa and promote specific initiatives.
Novel Coronavirus (Border Measures)
Radio France, Nishimura: I would like to confirm something about the border measures. Prime Minister Kishida stated in an earlier press conference that there will no longer be a requirement for a COVID-19 negative test result certificate to enter Japan from September 7. Does this apply to all people returning to Japan as well as people newly arriving Japan? Or would this only apply to Japanese nationals and foreign nationals living in Japan who have temporarily traveled abroad and then return to Japan?
Press Secretary Ono: Prime Minister Kishida just gave an explanation of the border measures. Please contact the Cabinet Secretariat and other relevant people for details.
Japan-Taiwan Relations (Visit to Taiwan by Chairman Furuya of the Japan-Republic of China Diet Members’ Consultative Council / State Funeral for the Late Former Prime Minister Abe)
Kyodo News, Fukuda: Chairman Furuya of the Japan-Republic of China Diet Members’ Consultative Council visited Taiwan and met with President Tsai Ing-wen. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized Chairman Furuya by stating that the visit grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs. Please tell us the comment from the Japanese side, including whether you lodged some sort of protest.
Press Secretary Ono: I would like to refrain from commenting from the position of the Government of Japan regarding the activities of Diet members. There has been no change whatsoever to the Government of Japan’s basic position on Taiwan. In that sense, it is our recognition that the Chinese side’s statement is completely unacceptable.
Kyodo News, Fukuda: Please tell us what kind of coordination is underway regarding the attendees from China and Taiwan at the state funeral for former Prime Minister Abe.
Press Secretary Ono: Nothing in particular has been decided at the present point regarding the attendees from China and Taiwan at the state funeral for former Prime Minister Abe.