Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary ONO Hikariko
Wednesday, March 8, 2023, 3:45 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Press Conference by Foreign Minister Qin Gang of China
Yomiuri Shimbun, Yokobori:In the press conference on March 7, Foreign Minister Qin Gang of China repeatedly criticized the United States. He also made statements to Japan, as if to check Japan from not following the United States, which is putting pressure on Japan, stating that if Japan were to “take part in a new Cold War to contain China, the bilateral relations would only suffer new wounds…” Please tell us the reaction of the Government of Japan, and your policy for approaching dialogue with China.
Ms. ONO Hikariko, Press Secretary:I would like to refrain from commenting one by one on the statements of Foreign Minister Qin of China. There are various possibilities for Japan-China relations, as well as many challenges and concerns. At the same time, Japan and China both have immense responsibilities for the peace and prosperity of the region and the international community amidst the changing global affairs.
In light of these circumstances, Japan’s policy is to state what should be stated and strongly request China to take responsible actions, while working to build a “constructive and stable Japan-China relationship” through the efforts of both countries, in which both sides firmly engage in dialogues, including at the summit level, on various pending issues, and cooperate on common issues.
In addition, I believe the stability of U.S.-China relations is extremely important to the international community. Japan will continue to urge China to fulfill its responsibilities as a major power while advancing various forms of cooperation under our strong relationship of trust with our ally, the United States.
Visits to Foreign Countries by Ministers During Diet Sessions
Asahi Shimbun, Nagasaki: In response to Foreign Minister Hayashi’s recent absence from the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the ruling and opposition parties have decided to discuss the possibility of flexibly allowing overseas visits by ministers during Diet sessions. Please tell us your reaction to this.
Press Secretary Ono:I am aware that there are currently various developments in the Diet regarding overseas visits by ministers during Diet sessions.
Both responding to the Diet and diplomatic activities, including overseas visits, are important. MOFA will continue to carry out active diplomatic activities while gaining the understanding of the Diet.
Reports of Establishment of a New Consultative Body on Japan-U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) Nuclear Deterrence
Jiji Press, Kondo:Today, some reported that there is a call for an extended deterrence of consultative body among Japan, the United States, and the ROK. Please tell us if that is true and how the arrangements are made. In addition, if it is true, please tell us about the significance of such a consultative body.
Press Secretary Ono:I am aware of the reports you pointed out.
The United States has repeatedly expressed its commitment to defend Japan using all types of capabilities, including nuclear capabilities. We recognize that the extended deterrence provided by the United States is essential to Japan’s national security.
In order to ensure that the U.S. extended deterrence remains reliable and resilient, Japan has been holding talks with the United States, including the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee, or the so-called Japan-U.S. “2+2,” and the Japan-U.S. Extended Deterrence Dialogue. I would like to refrain from answering about the details as this is truly a matter of Japan’s national security.
In any case, generally speaking, as the current security environment becomes increasingly severe, we believe that trilateral Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation, including Japan-U.S.-ROK security cooperation, is important.