Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa
Friday, June 23, 2023, 3:54 p.m. Paris
Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs:I have been here in Paris since yesterday, attending the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact, where, in addition to engaging with the leaders of the various countries attending the Summit, I have also held a Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ Meeting at the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France.
First, at the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact, in light of the situation in which progress in achieving the SDGs is being significantly delayed due to the increasing seriousness and complexity of global challenges, such as climate change, the importance of engaging in efforts to address the development finance gaps was discussed.
At the official Round Table held yesterday, entitled “Mobilizing the private sector for the SDGs: sustainable infrastructure and SME financing,” I participated as a panelist, together with President Sall of Senegal and others.
I introduced the development finance-related outcomes of the G7 Hiroshima Summit, welcoming that the principle of solidarity expressed in Hiroshima resonates with this Summit Meeting in Paris, and underlining the importance of three forms of solidarity for the development of developing countries. First is solidarity between the public and private sectors, which contributes to developing the investment environment in order to bring in investment in infrastructure and SMEs in developing countries. Second is solidarity in financing, in the sense that it is important to mobilize private sector financing in addition to public sector financing. Third is solidarity for ownership, in that it is important to support sustainable development of developing countries, while respecting the ownership of each country. In addition, I emphasized that any development finance must be transparent and fair, not undermining the debt sustainability in developing countries. I therefore called on all creditors and debtor countries to adhere to the international rules and standards and promote development finance that leads to balanced and sustained growth.
With regard to bilateral meetings, taking the opportunity provided by my visit to France, in addition to the Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ meeting with Minister Colonna of France, I also held meetings with the leaders of Barbados, Madagascar, and Niger. In those meetings, we discussed the issue of the development finance gaps, as well as bilateral relations with Japan, and strengthening cooperation on various issues in the international arena, such as responding to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
In particular, in the Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ meeting, I expressed my respect for the initiative of France in hosting the summit, and we confirmed progress on bilateral relations in a wide range of areas, including security and defense, economy, science and technology, and cultural and people-to-people exchange, and concurred on continuing to work together on regional issues.
Later this year the G20 Summit, the SDG Summit, and COP28 are all scheduled to take place. Japan will continue to actively lead discussions towards the achievement of the SDGs by the international community as a whole, while enhancing multilateral and bilateral cooperation. That is all from me.
Reporter:At the end of your series of visits, could you share with us your thoughts about the significance of you attending the Ukraine Recovery Conference and the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact? Based on the outcomes of these visits, how does Japan intend to engage in support for medium- to long-term reconstruction in Ukraine?
Minister Hayashi:First, at the Ukraine Recovery Conference, we held discussions on promoting the participation of the private sector in the reconstruction of Ukraine, and implementing the necessary reforms in order to achieve such participation. The conference was a valuable opportunity to further deepen discussions on future initiatives towards the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine. For my part, I once again underlined the outcomes of the G7 Hiroshima Summit, which had set the stage for this conference, and also sent out a strong message that, by making use of Japan’s experience and knowledge accumulated in the field of recovery and reconstruction, following postwar devastation and repeated and serious natural disasters, we intend to implement a uniquely Japanese form of reconstruction assistance in close contact with the Ukrainian people.
In terms of medium- to long-term reconstruction assistance for Ukraine, bearing in mind the Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Reconstruction that is scheduled to be held in Japan at the end of this year or early next year, in addition to the knowledge and experience we have accumulated to date, we will utilize the momentum provided by the Ukraine Recovery Conference in promoting the participation of private sector companies, to consider and implement reconstruction assistance in close contact with the Ukrainian people. In addition, as this year’s G7 Presidency, Japan will actively lead discussions within the international community towards the speedy restoration of peace and reconstruction in Ukraine.
With regard to the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact, it was attended by many leaders and ministers of emerging and developing countries, as well as by representatives of international organizations, and I believe that it succeeded in further raising interest among political leaders about the issue of development finance gaps. I expect that the summit will lead to the expansion of the donor community and further mobilize domestic and private sector financing.
As I noted before, later this year the G20 Summit, the SDG Summit, and COP28 are all scheduled to take place. Japan will continue to actively contribute to related discussions, aiming towards the achievement of the SDGs by the international community as a whole.
Reporter: I have a question about the Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ meeting yesterday with Foreign Minister Colonna. In the meeting you agreed to set up a working group on economic security. Could you tell us what form of cooperation will take in this field within the context of Japan-France relations? In addition, in terms of security-related cooperation, consideration is being given to an agreement that would facilitate reciprocal access between the forces of both countries, so could you tell us if you discussed this point with a view to opening negotiations?
Minister Hayashi:Economic security is a challenge that the international community collectively needs to address, and through the working group that we have agreed to set up at the bilateral level, Japan and France will advance further close cooperation. With regard to security-related cooperation, although I would like to refrain from giving the details of our discussion, as it is a matter of diplomatic communication, our two countries have agreed to further accelerate discussions on a permanent framework that would mutually improve administrative, policy and legal procedures for joint operations and exercises between our forces. Japan will continue to enhance security-related cooperation and partnership with France in various forms.
Reporter: I have two questions. First, with regard to the Japan-France Foreign Ministers’ meeting, some press reports are suggesting that France is against the establishment of a NATO liaison office in Japan. Was this matter discussed in the meeting? In addition, State Council Premier Li Qiang was attending the summit in France, so did you have any opportunity to interact with him?
Minister Hayashi:Regarding your first question, that issue was not discussed. Neither did I have the opportunity to interact directly with State Council Premier Li Qiang.