Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary KOBAYASHI Maki

Wednesday, September 27, 2023, 3:45 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.

Opening Remarks

Aspirations as Foreign Press Secretary

Ms. KOBAYASHI Maki, Press Secretary:I am Kobayashi, the new Foreign Press Secretary. I’m glad to be here.

The first instructions Minister Kamikawa gave me were to focus on the following threefold points: to firmly protect Japan’s national interests, increase Japan’s presence, and advance diplomacy that is understood and supported by Japanese people.

All the Ministry officials will bear this in mind as we do everything possible in our respective diplomatic duties, and I believe that it is my role to accurately and promptly communicate these policies and efforts.

In particular, through the media, I believe it is important to gain the understanding and support of the Japanese people for our various diplomatic initiatives, as well as empathy and understanding from people overseas.

I also believe that enhancing such communication will help carry out the first two instructions from Minister Kamikawa: to firmly protect Japan’s national interests and increase Japan’s presence. For this reason, I will try as hard as I can to answer your questions and concerns.

I may not be able to answer immediately because I am not used to press conferences, but in that case, I will properly get confirmation and answer.

Exit Ban on Nomura Holdings’ Hong Kong Executive

Mainichi Shimbun, Murao:There are reports that an executive of Nomura Holdings’ Hong Kong subsidiary has been banned from leaving China. I recognize that this case is a measure against Japanese corporate executives, but please tell us what facts the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is aware of. In addition, what action, if any, is MOFA taking in response? Additionally, due to China’s Counter-Espionage Law and other factors, there is growing concern about the business environment in China. In light of this, what is MOFA’s approach to supporting Japanese companies’ business in China?

Press Secretary Kobayashi:Regarding the facts behind the case, we are aware of the reports you are referring to and are monitoring the situation. However, we have not received information itself indicating that the person is facing detention.

As to your second question about support for Japanese companies and the business environment, in general terms, we seek to advance economic and people-to-people exchanges between Japan and China, including the activities of Japanese companies in China. To that end, it is essential to ensure transparency in law enforcement and judicial processes, and a transparent, predictable, and fair business environment in China. Through various opportunities and at various levels, we have been approaching China on these matters.

As for economic ties with China, China is Japan’s largest trading partner, and there are a great many Japanese companies operating in China and Japanese employees posted there. Therefore, the Government of Japan will make every effort to gather relevant information and continue support for the activities of Japanese companies.

Japan-China-Republic of Korea Trilateral Senior Officials’ Meeting

Kyodo News, Hayashi:Yesterday, it was reported that senior officials of Japan, China, and the Republic of Korea (ROK), met and agreed to hold a Summit as soon as possible. If the Summit is realized, it will be the first since 2019. There are also expectations for a foreign ministers’ meeting and the like in preparation for the Summit. Could you comment on the significance and expectations of the Summit?

Press Secretary Kobayashi:As you pointed out, a trilateral Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) was held in Seoul on September 26, for the first time in four years, and we welcomed that fact. We also concurred to accelerate discussions in order to reinvigorate the trilateral Japan-China-ROK processes.

Regarding the upcoming schedule, we have also concurred that we will work toward holding the Summit as soon as possible and at an appropriate timing. To that end, we will hold a foreign ministers’ meeting within the next few months.

The three countries of Japan, China, and the ROK share a great responsibility for regional peace and prosperity. It is very meaningful for the three leaders to gather together and discuss the direction of trilateral cooperation, the manner of trilateral concrete collaboration, regional issues, and other challenges.

We would like to take the opportunity of this trilateral SOM as a concrete step toward rebuilding the trilateral Japan-China-ROK processes, by which we will continue robust discussions.

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