Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa
Friday, July 7, 2023, 11:04 a.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Situation in Ukraine (Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant)
NHK, Iwasawa:I have a question about the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant in southern Ukraine.
The Government of Ukraine has criticized Russia for planting explosives at the nuclear power plant, which is being occupied by Russia, and the IAEA has requested additional on-site inspections. What is the Government of Japan’s reaction to this situation? In addition, please tell us how the G7 will address this nuclear power plant issue.
Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: Japan is following the developments relating to the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, including statements made by the Government of Ukraine and the IAEA like the ones you mentioned. Japan expresses again its gravest concern over Russia’s seizure and militarization of this nuclear power plant.
That being said, during my meeting with Director General Grossi on July 4, I reiterated that Japan always values Director General Grossi’s efforts to ensure nuclear safety in Ukraine, and that Japan, as the G7 Presidency, will work closely with Director General Grossi. Japan will continue to support the efforts of the IAEA in close cooperation with the G7 members.
ALPS Treated Water
Yomiuri Shimbun, Yoda: It is becoming important to step up efforts to tackle disinformation and disseminate correct information regarding the discharge of ALPS treated water into the sea. Please tell us what measures the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) intends to take in this regard.
Minister Hayashi:With regard to ALPS treated water, and in order to suppress harmful rumors, it is vital that the public in Japan and overseas possesses objective and accurate information based on scientific evidence.
The spread of malicious disinformation threatens the universal values upon which our society is built, such as freedom and democracy. It also hinders the reconstruction of the affected areas and deeply hurts the feelings of the local people who are working hard for restoration. The Government of Japan opposes disinformation and its dissemination.
MOFA will take necessary measures against such malicious disinformation, and will continue to provide accurate and detailed information based on scientific evidence in a transparent manner.
Kyodo News, Katsurada: I too have a question on ALPS treated water. IAEA Director General Grossi will visit the Republic of Korea (ROK) today and is expected to explain the Comprehensive Report regarding the discharge of treated water. The Government of the ROK has already expressed that it respects the judgment of the IAEA, but mainly the opposition parties are firmly opposed to the discharge. What are your expectations for Director General Grossi’s visit to the ROK?
Minister Hayashi: Japan is not in a position to answer about IAEA Director General Grossi’s visit to another country following his visit to Japan.
That being said, Japan has provided the ROK with scientifically based detailed information and explanations on the safety of ALPS treated water, such as during director-general-level briefing sessions, the observation by a delegation of Korean experts in May, and other opportunities.
In any case, based on the conclusions presented in the IAEA report, Japan will continue to provide detailed explanations regarding the discharge of ALPS treated water into the sea to people in Japan and overseas, including the ROK, in a highly transparent manner based on scientific evidence. In doing so, we will make ongoing efforts to further deepen the ROK’s understanding on the safety of the discharge.
NHK, Iwasawa: I have a related question on the planned discharge of ALPS treated water into the sea. Today, the Government of the ROK will release a report on its independent study and analysis. Can you please share your thoughts and expectations for this report?
Minister Hayashi: I am aware that on July 7, today, the Government of the ROK will release a report detailing its position on ALPS treated water.
We will first be examining the report of the Government of the ROK.
As I just stated, Japan has provided the ROK with scientifically based detailed information and explanations on the safety of ALPS treated water, such as during director-general-level briefing sessions, the observation by a delegation of Korean experts in May, and other opportunities.
Japan will continue to explain thoroughly the safety of discharging ALPS treated water into the sea to the international community, including the ROK, in a transparent manner based on scientific evidence.
Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology
TBS, Miyamoto:I have a question about a different matter. It is about the Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology. On July 5, working group members from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito put together discussion points for revising the Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology and its Implementation Guidelines. In this document, both parties concurred that arms can be exported under certain conditions. Please share with us MOFA’s reaction and your outlook on how this will affect Japan’s relations with other countries.
Minister Hayashi:I understand that a working team of the ruling parties held a total of 12 meetings since April of this year, and that the discussion points were put together following intense discussions between the ruling parties. The Government is not in a position to answer about the details of their discussions.
That being said, as is stated in the National Security Strategy, the transfer of defense equipment and technology overseas is a key policy instrument to ensure peace and stability, especially in the Indo-Pacific region, to create a desirable security environment for Japan and to provide assistance to countries that are subject to aggression in violation of international law.
Nothing has been decided at this time regarding the revision of the Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology, its Implementation Guidelines, and other systems. From the perspective I mentioned, we will be discussing it while taking into account the discussion points of the ruling parties.
G7 Hiroshima Summit (Provisional Translation of an Outcome Document)
Radio France, Nishimura: I would like to ask again about the discharge of treated water at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Even though the Government emphasizes the importance of conveying accurate information about the process of discharging treated water to people at home and abroad, there is a mistranslation in the provisional Japanese translation of the outcome document of the G7 Hiroshima Summit. Despite being pointed out repeatedly, the Government has decided not to revise it, saying that the translation is appropriate. Claiming so, however, does not change the fact that there is a mistranslation. The Government is not only telling the Japanese people something that is not true, but is also deceiving other G7 members. It would not be surprising if other countries point out the mistake in the provisional Japanese translation. Why won’t you revise it? Please explain the real reason.
Minister Hayashi:The English are the official versions of the outcome documents of the G7 Hiroshima Summit and the G7 Ministerial Meetings, and the provisional translations are prepared for reference purposes only.
If there is anything that may be a typographical error, please point them out to us as a clerical matter.
One-Year Anniversary of the Passing of Former Prime Minister Abe
Asahi Shimbun, Uechi:It will be one year since former Prime Minister ABE Shinzo passed away. Were there ever moments when you felt that the absence of the former prime minister had an effect on or changed the way agreements are reached or the way policies are decided within the administration or the LDP, or the relationship with other political parties? Please share with us your reflection on this past year, as well as your thoughts on your succession of some areas of his electoral district.
Minister Hayashi:On this one-year anniversary of the passing of former Prime Minister Abe, I pray that his soul continues to rest in peace again. I would also like to take a moment to honor his achievements.
Possessing outstanding leadership and execution ability in diplomacy, former Prime Minister Abe left a legacy of achievements by implementing “diplomacy that took a panoramic perspective of the world map.” The Kishida administration will continue to make firm efforts to carry on the legacy of former Prime Minister Abe who laid the foundation for Japan’s diplomacy.
With regard to electoral districts, I have been appointed as Chairperson of the LDP Yamaguchi Prefecture House of Representatives 3rd Electoral District Branch following the redrawing of boundaries, and I feel the weight of my responsibility as Chairperson. Looking ahead to the future, I will make bold efforts to further unite the Federation of Yamaguchi Prefecture Branches and pave the future of the region and Japan.