Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary ONO Hikariko
Wednesday, June 21, 2023, 3:45 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Passage of the “Militaristic Japan” Bill by Russia’s State Duma
Hokkaido Shimbun, Araya: Today, the State Duma passed a bill to rename Russia’s commemorative date for the end of World War II, September 3, as the “Day of Victory over Militaristic Japan and the End of World War II.” Could you please share with us the view of the Government of Japan? In addition, the bill itself had been deliberated in the Russian Federal Assembly since last year. What are your thoughts as to why the bill was passed at this timing?
Ms. ONO Hikariko, Press Secretary: We are aware of the referred reports.
I am not in a position to comment on the intentions behind this bill. Moreover, the Government of Japan would like to refrain from making any comments on the bill at this time.
That being said, Japan has repeatedly conveyed its view and position on World War II to the Russian side and will continue to take appropriate actions.
In any case, Japan remains committed to its severe sanctions against Russia and strong support for Ukraine in order to stop Russia’s aggression against Ukraine as soon as possible.
Russia’s Criticism of the Kishida Administration as “Militaristic Japan”
Hokkaido Shimbun, Araya: Since the beginning of this year, Russia has not only passed this bill but has also described the Government of Japan, especially the current Kishida administration, as militarizing in light of its formulation of the three security-related policy documents and increase of the defense budget. What is your view on this?
Press Secretary Ono: We are aware that the Russian side has made the remarks you mentioned.
As is stated in the National Security Strategy, Japan, as a peace-loving nation, has fully upheld its basic principle of security in maintaining an exclusively national defense-oriented policy, not becoming a military power that poses a threat to other countries, and Russia’s claim is unacceptable.
We have explained Japan’s National Security Strategy and other security policies to Russia on various occasions through diplomatic channels, and will continue to take appropriate actions.
G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in London
NHK, Iwasawa: I would like to ask about the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting to be held in London, the United Kingdom, tonight. Recently, Secretary of State Blinken of the United States visited China and held a meeting with President Xi Jinping. In addition, in Ukraine, the damages from the major flooding caused by the dam collapse are increasing. As the G7 Presidency, what does Japan hope to discuss at the meeting concerning these international situations?
Press Secretary Ono: At this point in time, I would like to refrain from speculating on the details of the discussions at the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting to be held in London, today, June 21. The meeting is scheduled to discuss urgent challenges facing the international community, and Japan, as the G7 Presidency this year, intends to firmly lead the discussions at the meeting.