Press Conferences

Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister KAMIKAWA Yoko

Thursday, September 14, 2023, 9:31 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

Opening Remarks

Ms. KAMIKAWA Yoko, Minister for Foreign Affairs:I held a telephone meeting earlier with Secretary Blinken. At the outset, I stated that I would like to build a good relationship with Secretary Blinken just like former Minister Hayashi, and to further strengthen the Japan-U.S. Alliance, which is stronger than ever. Secretary Blinken offered his congratulations to me for my assumption of office.

In addition, I stated that Japan will fulfill its role as the G7 Presidency to uphold and strengthen the free and open international order based on the rule of law as the very foundation of the international order is shaking.

At the meeting, we exchanged views on regional affairs. We concurred on continuing to work closely together on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, issues related to China, and North Korea’s nuclear and missile development and the abductions issue.

Additionally, regarding the increasingly severe regional security environment, we concurred to cooperate to further strengthen the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance, based on the achievement of the Japan-U.S. “2+2” in January this year.

Furthermore, we shared the recognition that the Japan-U.S. coordination in the economic field is widening and deepening, and concurred on further cooperation.

The Japan-U.S. Alliance is the cornerstone of Japan’s diplomacy and security, and it is highly significant that Secretary Blinken was the counterpart with whom I held my first foreign ministers’ telephone meeting since being appointed Foreign Minister. It marked an important step in building our relationship of trust.

The United Nations (UN) High-level Week will be held next week, which will be a crucial grand stage for Japan. I have renewed my determination to steadily build relationships of trust with my counterparts around the world.

Question-and-Answer Session

Reporter:During your meeting with Secretary Blinken today, was the Russia-North Korea Summit Meeting mentioned at all, and were future intentions discussed?

Minister Kamikawa:We discussed today what I mentioned in my opening remarks. As this is a matter of diplomatic communication, I would like to refrain from discussing further details.

Reporter:Did you discuss meeting in person on the occasion of the UN High-level Week next week?

Minister Kamikawa:As today’s meeting took place by telephone, I promised the Secretary that next time we will meet in person in New York.

Reporter: I believe you spoke with Secretary Blinken for the first time today. Please share with us your impressions of him or the impression you got from your conversation, such as your compatibility with the Secretary.

Minister Kamikawa:Actually, during the holidays in May, I had the opportunity to meet Secretary Blinken together with Secretary-General Motegi of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan. Today was our first meeting since then. Maybe because it was by telephone, but we had a very active discussion, more than when we first met, and I am looking forward to our next in-person meeting.

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