Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa

Tuesday, August 30, 2022, 10:31 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) 2023 G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

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

Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno stated that the 2023 G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting will be held in the Town of Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture.

Karuizawa Town has served as the host town for many international conferences. I believe that it is an appropriate location for the G7 foreign ministers to hold open and candid discussions on urgent issues of the international community, surrounded by abundant nature.

MOFA will work on the preparations in cooperation with relevant organizations and the host town’s local government for the G7 Hiroshima Summit as well as the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in order to ensure the smooth holding of the meetings.

(2) Number of Japanese Staff Members at United Nations-related agencies

Minister Hayashi: On a separate note, I would like to announce the latest information on the number of Japanese staff members at international organizations that has been released.

As of the end of 2021, the number of Japanese staff members at United Nations-related agencies reached a record high of 956. This is an increase of 38 people from the previous year’s total of 918. Among them, 91 are at the management level, which is also the highest number and an increase of three people from previous year’s total of 88. We are making steady progress towards the Government of Japan’s goal of achieving 1,000 staff members at United Nations-related agencies by 2025.

MOFA will continue to make efforts to increase the number and promotion of Japanese staff members towards achieving the Government’s goal by utilizing the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Program, which dispatches young human resources, sending mid-level staff who are candidates for management level, and holding online guidance on international organization jobs for Japanese human resources from all over the world.

That is all from me.

2023 G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

Kyodo News, Maeda: I would like to ask about security at the G7 ministerial meeting. It will be held in Karuizawa, and I believe many dignitaries will participate. Please tell us what kind of security system will be put in place.

Minister Hayashi: We will work on the preparations in cooperation with relevant organizations and the host town’s local government.

Yomiuri Shimbun, Abe: Regarding the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, I believe you have attended past G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meetings in Liverpool in the United Kingdom and Weissenhaus in Germany. Based on that experience, please tell us your thoughts on what kind of a Foreign Ministers’ Meeting you would like to hold in Karuizawa.

Minister Hayashi: The Government of Japan made a decision on where to host the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting based on comprehensive study of the local governments that made a bid to hold ministerial meetings based on various perspectives including a suitable venue for the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, accommodations, and security.

In particular, Karuizawa was chosen because of its track record of holding many international conferences, and that it will be an appropriate location for the G7 foreign ministers to hold open and candid discussions on various critical issues of the international community surrounded by abundant nature.

Jiji Press, Tanaka: What issues would you like to advance as themes during the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting? Furthermore, what are your thoughts on the date of the meeting?

Minister Hayashi: The date of the meeting will be decided and announced at an appropriate time after necessary coordination.

As for the themes and discussions’ topics, the meeting will be an opportunity for discussions of urgent issues of the international community, so I would like to further advance consideration regarding the themes and discussion topics.

NPT Review Conference

Chugoku Shimbun, Higuchi: I would like to ask about the NPT Review Conference, which ended recently. This is the second time in a row that no final agreement was reached, and we have had no agreement for 12 years since 2010.Atomic bombing survivors and experts have pointed out that this indicates the dysfunction of the NPT regime.

Prime Minister Kishida has indicated that Japan will continue to place importance on the NPT regime. However, particularly the international community and citizens have indicated that the Government of Japan should change its policy or change the policy direction toward embracing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). They have also said that if we look at the discussions during the recent NPT Review Conference, the consideration for the nuclear-weapon states stood out, and the Government of Japan has not been able to serve as a “bridge” between nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states as it has been advocating for a long time. Please tell us your view on this.

Minister Hayashi: Ultimately, a consensus could not be reached at this NPT Review Conference due to Russia’s opposition, because of the issue surrounding Ukraine. I believe that the NPT regime itself was not the problem.

Additionally, it is deeply regrettable that the final document was not adopted by consensus. Nevertheless, I consider it meaningful that a draft final document was created with the support of all State parties except for Russia through serious discussions among them.

Furthermore, there was a unanimous decision on the process leading to the next Review Conference which will be held in 2026. There was also unanimous agreement on the establishment of a working group on further strengthening the review process, in response to a proposal made by the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) including Japan. This is a contribution by Japan. It also demonstrates the will of State parties to maintain and strengthen the NPT, which is highly appreciated.

It is important to maintain and strengthen the NPT with participation by both nuclear-weapon states, including Russia, and non-nuclear weapon states. Japan will continue to promote realistic, practical measures in cooperation with relevant countries, and urge Russia to play a constructive role in maintaining and strengthening the NPT regime.

TICAD 8 (Participation by “Western Sahara”)

Pan Orient News, Azhari: What is Japan’s government position regarding the participation of people from Polisario movement in the TICAD meeting? Japan we know that doesn’t recognize that organization or the claim that it has a republic in Sahara. And they attend the meeting. So was it the invitation of the Japanese government? Thank you.

Minister Hayashi: Japan did not invite “Western Sahara” to TICAD 8.

TICAD is an international conference with the theme of African development. We had intensive discussions on African development at this TICAD 8.

Sri Lanka’s Debt Issue

Nikkei Shimbun, Miki: The President of Sri Lanka has requested Japan to convene creditor countries such as China and India and hold a conference on restructuring its debt. Please tell us the response by the Government of Japan.

Minister Hayashi: We are engaged in various communications with the Sri Lankan side. However, it is not true that we are preparing with Sri Lanka to hold a conference.

Japan is monitoring Sri Lanka’s difficult economic situation. We are currently implementing humanitarian assistance for the provision of medicinal supplies and food in response to the worsening humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka.

I believe it is important for the Government of Sri Lanka to work to improve the economic and financial situation while maintaining transparency in cooperation with the IMF, the Paris Club, and others. Japan will further consider our response in cooperation with Sri Lanka, other donors and international organizations, and the like while ascertaining such movements and the situation of Sri Lanka.

NPT Review Conference

Asahi Shimbun, Takahashi: I would like to ask about the NPT. The talks at the Review Conference broke down for the second time. Prime Minister Kishida stated that he felt “disappointed.” The Kishida administration has raised a “world without nuclear weapons” as an important agenda. Please tell us about the impact on future measures and the response.

Minister Hayashi: During this NPT Review Conference, Japan’s views and statements, including on the “Hiroshima Action Plan” proposed by Prime Minister Kishida in his speech during the General Debate session, received support and appreciation from many countries. I believe it was a major result that many of them were included in the draft final document.

As I stated earlier, it is deeply regrettable that the final document was not adopted by consensus because of opposition by Russia due to the issue surrounding Ukraine. Nevertheless, I consider it meaningful that a draft of the final document was created, and a record will remain of it as a conference document, with the support of all State parties except for Russia through serious discussions, including both nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states. This was not a problem of the NPT regime itself.

It is important to continue to maintain and strengthen the NPT based on the results of this Review Conference. Japan will further raise the momentum of the international community toward realizing a “world without nuclear weapons” through discussion at the G7 Hiroshima Summit, which will be held by Japan next year, and persistently and steadily promote realistic and practical measures one step at a time.

Situation in Ukraine (Status of Consideration on Reopening the Japanese Embassy)

NHK, Morita: I would like to ask about the reopening of the Japanese Embassy in Ukraine. Last week, Ambassador Matsuda visited Ukraine from Japan. If we look at the situations of various G7 countries, all of them except Japan have already reopened their embassies in Ukraine. Please tell us the current status of consideration on reopening the Japanese embassy.

Minister Hayashi: The situation of various countries is as you have stated. Japan is in the process of studying the possibility of reopening the embassy.

Back to Press Conferences