Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary ONO Hikariko

Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 3:45 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.

Opening Remarks

(1) Diplomatic Archives special exhibition “The 50th Anniversary of the Normalization of Japan-China Relations.”

Ms. ONO Hikariko, Press Secretary: I have two announcements.

The first is the holding of the Diplomatic Archives special exhibition “The 50th Anniversary of the Normalization of Japan-China Relations.”

MOFA will hold the special exhibition entitled “The 50th Anniversary of the Normalization of Japan-China Relations” at the Diplomatic Archives exhibition room from Thursday, September 22 to Tuesday, December 27.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the normalization of relations between Japan and China with the issuance of the Japan-China Joint Communique. The exhibition will be held to commemorate this and will display historic materials related to the Japan-China Joint Communique, the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China, and the like. In addition to the Japan-China Joint Communique of September 1972 and the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China of 1978, this special exhibition is planned to display historic materials related to the visit to China by Prime Minister TANAKA Kakuei and the visit to Japan by Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping of the State Council of China. The 18 exhibited documents are all original.

In addition to the permanent exhibitions, the Diplomatic Archives is also holding “special exhibitions” related to MOFA’s anniversary projects and the like, themed exhibitions, and joint exhibitions with other venues. We are actively working to provide the public with access to records of historic value regarding Japanese diplomacy.

(2) Japan-U.S. Exchange Project Utilizing Facilities and Areas of the U.S. Forces

Press Secretary Ono: The next is the Japan-U.S. exchange project utilizing facilities and areas of the U.S. Forces.

Since FY2020, MOFA and the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) have been jointly implementing an exchange project for local junior high and high school students as well as children of U.S. Forces members in regions where facilities and areas of the U.S. Forces in Japan are located.

During FY2021, the project was held in Iwakuni City in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Sasebo City in Nagasaki Prefecture, and Misawa City in Aomori Prefecture. The participating students and local municipalities commented that it was a good opportunity to understand one another and deepen relationships. The project was covered by several media outlets, and we believe it was very meaningful.

The first program for FY2023 will be held at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture on September 17 and 18. After that, programs will be held successively at Camp Kuwae in Okinawa Prefecture, U.S. Fleet Activities Sasebo in Nagasaki Prefecture, Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture, Camp Zama and U.S. Fleet Activities Yokosuka in Kanagawa Prefecture, and Yokota Air Base in Tokyo Prefecture.

We expect that this exchange project will contribute to promoting mutual understanding between the U.S. Forces in Japan and local communities, and lead to developing human resources who will play an active role in the international community. That is all from me.

State Funeral for the Late Former Prime Minister Abe

Asahi Shimbun, Aibara: I would like to ask about the state funeral for former Prime Minister Abe. Last week, during the special meeting when the Diet was not in session, Prime Minister Kishida announced some of the names of the people from overseas attending the state funeral. How do you plan to announce the remaining countries?

Press Secretary Ono: At this point, more than 190 delegations are expected to attend, including Vice President Harris of the United States, Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada, Prime Minister Modi of India, Prime Minister Albanese of Australia, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, President Phuc of Viet Nam, Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, and President Michel of the European Council, as well as former Prime Minister Howard, former Prime Minister Abbott, and former Prime Minister Turnbull of Australia, have indicated their intention to attend the state funeral.

At this point, we are not in a position to disclose any other specific attendees, taking into account matters such as relations with the other countries. We will make an announcement at the appropriate time in an appropriate manner.

Asahi Shimbun, Aibara: Is it the case that you have already received replies from over 190 countries, and you are waiting for the timing to make an announcement? Or have you not received replies yet and are confirming intentions of other parties?

Press Secretary Ono: As I stated earlier, more than190 delegations are expected to attend the state funeral. We are currently tallying the specific number of attendees as we receive notifications from various countries.

G7 Hiroshima Summit (Locations of Related Ministerial Meetings)

Kyodo News, Fukuda: I would like to ask about the G7 Hiroshima Summit next year. Please tell us what is being coordinated for the remaining 12 cities that will hold related ministerial meetings.

Press Secretary Ono: Regarding the related ministerial meetings that you asked about, we plan to hold 12 related meetings besides the meetings of foreign ministers and finance ministers. We will continue to conduct the necessary coordination on the locations of the respective meetings, and intend to make a decision and an announcement at the appropriate time within this month.

Framework Agreement Concerning Operations in the Waters Around the Four Northern Islands

NHK, Morita: I would like to ask about safe operations near the Four Northern Islands. Russia has currently suspended implementation of the Agreement, and local fishing communities say that they do not expected to be able to go fishing the day after tomorrow. Please tell us the current status of coordination.

Press Secretary Ono: We are currently coordinating with relevant parties, taking into consideration the wishes of the fishermen regarding various matters related to Japanese fishing boat operations based on the Framework Agreement Concerning Operations on the Waters Around the Four Northern Islands. The Government of Japan is exerting all efforts for the resumption of operations under the Agreement as soon as possible.

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

Chugoku Shimbun, Higuchi: Please tell us what is being coordinated for the CTBT summit meeting to be held during the UNGA.

Press Secretary Ono: As already announced, coordination is underway for Prime Minister Kishida and Foreign Minister Hayashi to attend the UNGA if various circumstances permit.

Nothing has been decided at this point regarding the specific schedules of the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.

On the other hand, Japan believes that it is important to raise the importance of realistic, practical initiatives based on the results of the recent NPT Review Conference toward achieving a “world without nuclear weapons.” In addition, during the UNGA, as Prime Minister Kishida called for at the recent NPT Review Conference, the meeting of the CTBT Friends is planned to be held at the summit-level and Prime Minister Kishida is scheduled to attend the meeting.

Through such initiatives, Japan would like to show the international community’s strong unity for a “world without nuclear weapons.”

Chugoku Shimbun, Higuchi: I believe that the meeting of the CTBT Friends specifically consists of Japan, Australia, Finland, and Germany. At this point, which prime ministers are certain to attend?

Press Secretary Ono: The details of the meeting are currently being coordinated, so we are not at the stage of providing further details at this point.

Back to Press Conferences