Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa

Tuesday, September 12, 2023, 12:36 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

(Video) Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI
This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.

Foreign Minister Hayashi’s Visit to Ukraine (Outcomes)

Kyodo News, Katsurada: I would like to ask about the outcomes of your recent visit to Ukraine. During the visit, the two countries concurred to commence negotiations on a Japan-Ukraine bilateral document based on the G7’s Joint Declaration. The press release issued by the Ukrainian side describes it as a document on “security guarantees.” What specific areas does Japan assume the document will cover?

Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs:With regard to my recent visit to Ukraine, first of all, Japan, as Chair of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, conducted an in-depth exchange of views with Ukraine and confirmed to cooperate to bring a just and lasting peace in Ukraine as soon as possible.

In addition, to promote recovery and reconstruction in Ukraine, Japan will develop its organizational structure, which includes reopening the JICA Ukraine Field Office and establishing the Office for Promotion of Ukraine’s Economic Reconstruction. I visited Ukraine with representatives of the private sector, and Japan and Ukraine confirmed to cooperate toward its recovery and reconstruction. I believe these were some of the outcomes.

Furthermore, President Zelenskyy and I confirmed to commence bilateral negotiations as early as possible on creating a bilateral document based on the Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine, which was issued by the G7 and Ukraine on the margins of the NATO Summit Meeting in July. That was another outcome.

We will be discussing the details of the bilateral document with the Ukrainian side, taking into account Japan’s support for Ukraine thus far and Ukraine’s efforts for its reform. In any case, as articulated in the G7’s Joint Declaration for Ukraine, the bilateral document must be in accordance with the G7’s respective legal and constitutional requirements. Therefore, the document will be in line with the laws and the Japanese Constitution.

Foreign Minister Hayashi’s Visit to Ukraine (Report to the Prime Minister and Reshuffle of the Cabinet)

Yomiuri Shimbun, Yoda:On a related note, I understand that you met with Prime Minister Kishida earlier and reported on your visit to Ukraine. Could you tell us what was his reaction? In addition, during your meeting, did he mention anything about the personnel appointments in the cabinet reshuffle, which is scheduled for September 13?

Minister Hayashi:A short while ago, I reported the outcomes of my visit to Ukraine to the Prime Minister. I think that it would be inappropriate to disclose the Prime Minister’s reaction and so on here.

As for your question regarding the reshuffle of the cabinet, I would like to refrain from answering as the Prime Minister is the one who makes personnel decisions.

Reshuffle of the Cabinet

Asahi Shimbun, Matsuyama:If I may ask a related question, you stated that you will refrain from disclosing the details of your meeting with the Prime Minister pertaining to personnel appointments. Please tell us about the achievements you have made as Foreign Minister over this past year, as well as any agenda you have for the next year ahead.

Minister Hayashi:As your question concerns personnel appointments, I would like to refrain from answering in my current capacity as Foreign Minister.

Visit to Russia by General Secretary Kim Jong-un of North Korea

Mainichi Shimbun, Kawaguchi:Yesterday, North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency reported that General Secretary Kim Jong-un will visit Russia and meet with President Putin. Could you comment on the resumption of diplomatic activities by the leader of North Korea, which had stopped due to COVID-19? In addition, at the Russia-North Korea Summit Meeting, the leaders are expected to discuss military cooperation, including North Korea’s provision of weapons and Russia’s support for advanced technology. How does the Government of Japan intend to address these matters?

Minister Hayashi:Japan always strives to gather and analyze information with serious concern about the situation regarding North Korea, including the matters you just mentioned.

The Government of Japan is not in a position to answer about the details of the Russia-North Korea Summit Meeting or its outcomes. We are monitoring the situation with concern, including possible violation of relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions that impose a total ban on procurement of weapons and related supplies from North Korea.

In any case, Japan will continue to gather and analyze relevant information and coordinate closely with the United States, the Republic of Korea, and other members of the international community, including for ensuring the full implementation of relevant UNSC resolutions.

Foreign Minister Hayashi’s Visit to Ukraine (Assistance for Reconstruction)

Independent Web Journal, Hamamoto: I have another question about your visit to Ukraine. I heard that Mr. Mikitani of Rakuten and others accompanied you on your visit, and discussed assistance for reconstruction. Is it safe to assume that Japan’s support for Ukraine has already shifted its focus to reconstruction rather than weapons assistance for continuing the war?

Minister Hayashi:Regarding how the Japanese side prepares for Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction, as I described earlier, I visited Ukraine with representatives of the private sector, and Japan and Ukraine confirmed to cooperate toward its recovery and reconstruction.

Even now, although the war is still ongoing, it is very significant to have thorough discussions on recovery and reconstruction, including as we did at the recent recovery conference in London.

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