Press Conference by Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu
Tuesday, October 26, 2021, 10:35 a.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(1) Emergency Grant Aid to Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries
Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I have two announcements at the outset.
Firstly, in regard to emergency grant aid to Afghanistan and other countries, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan in terms of food shortages and other aspects has been deteriorating since the fall of Kabul on August 15, and the number of refugees is surging. In addition, there are concerns over the influx of many refugees into neighboring countries due to the worsening situation in Afghanistan.
Given such situation and urgent requests from the United Nations, today the Government of Japan has decided to extend emergency grant aid of 65 million US dollars to Afghanistan and neighboring countries through international organizations.
With this, Japan will have provided support of about two hundred million US dollars in total to Afghanistan this year.
The Government of Japan will continue to provide support and stand by the people of Afghanistan.
(2) Provision of Additional Vaccines to Taiwan
Minister Motegi: The other announcement is about the provision of vaccines. Given that necessary coordination is complete, we have decided to provide 300,000 million additional doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to Taiwan tomorrow, October 27. With this provision, Japan will have provided a total of 4.2 million doses of vaccines to Taiwan.
So far, Japan has provided a total of around 30 million vaccines to 20 countries and regions, including four million vaccines respectively to Viet Nam and Indonesia where vaccines have already been delivered. Japan has provided the third largest amount of vaccines in the world.
Japan hopes that our vaccine provision will further contribute to preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus in countries around the world. That is all from me.
Navigation by Chinese and Russian Naval Vessels around the waters of Japan
NHK, Watanabe: Recently, there has been a case of Chinese and Russian vessels conducting joint navigation around the waters of Japan. Please tell us your reaction. Please also respond to the view that this navigation was conducted to put pressure on Japan. I believe it is not comfortable that Russia is taking such actions with China. I believe the Kishida administration will resume the peace treaty negotiations following the election, so could you share your thoughts on how this will affect the negotiations between Japan and Russia, and what policy Japan will take in approaching the negotiations?
Minister Motegi: This is the first confirmed case of joint navigation by Chinese and Russian naval vessels through the Tsugaru Strait and Osumi Strait. Japan has lodged a protest through diplomatic channels to China and Russia respectively about our serious concerns over the activities of Chinese and Russian naval vessels around the waters of Japan, with the security environment of Japan and the region in mind. We will continue to pay close attention to the situation.
Apart from this, Japan and Russia need to move forward with negotiations on various issues, including the attributions issue. I will continue to firmly and persistently advance the peace treaty negotiations based on the agreement between the leaders of both countries to push the negotiations forward.