Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu

Friday, October 15, 2021, 10:43 a.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

Opening Remarks

Japan’s Provision of Novel Coronavirus Vaccines to Foreign Countries

Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I first have one announcement regarding Japan’s provision of novel coronavirus vaccines to foreign countries. Upon requests we have received from various countries for additional support, Japan has decided to additionally provide two million doses of vaccines to Indonesia and the Philippines respectively, 400,000 doses to Thailand, and 500,000 doses to Viet Nam. We plan to transport vaccines once they are ready starting today. We are also currently under consideration to provide additional vaccines to Taiwan.

In addition to directly providing vaccines, we have also begun coordination to provide a total of additional five million doses of vaccines through COVAX, once the coordination with relevant organizations and others is settled, to countries in Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, the LAC region, the Middle East, North Africa, and Pacific Island countries.

Japan has already provided 25 million doses of vaccines. According to UNICEF, Japan has provided the third largest amount of vaccines in the world. We will advance provision of vaccines in consideration of domestic vaccine production and usage conditions, as well as number of cases, vaccine needs in various countries and regions. That is all from me.

Northern Territories Issue (Visit to Etorofu Island by Russian Deputy Prime Ministers)

Hokkaido Shimbun, Bun: Today, two Russian Deputy Prime Ministers visited Etorofu Island in the Northern Territories. This is another visit to the island by Russian government dignitaries since the visit by the Prime Minister of Russia in July last year. Have you lodged a protest or request today? Moreover, please tell us once again Japan’s position and view on this issue.

Minister Motegi: We have lodged a protest. We have protested that this was incompatible with Japan’s consistent position on the Northern Territories, and was unacceptable.

Hokkaido Shimbun, Bun: In relation to this matter, this visit to Etorofu Island has been conducted soon after the telephone talk between Prime Minister Kishida and President Putin on October 7. What effect do you think this will have on Japan-Russia diplomacy, such as the peace treaty negotiations?

Minister Motegi: During the recent Japan-Russia Summit Telephone Talk, the two leaders confirmed that we will firmly continue the peace treaty negotiations. Therefore, we will firmly advance the negotiations.

China’s Request to Join the TPP11

Asahi Shimbun, Aibara: I would like to ask about the TPP. Recently, the Government of China announced that the Foreign Minister of Chile has expressed support for China’s accession to the TPP.

Minister Motegi: Excuse me. Where?

Asahi Shimbun, Aibara: Chile. The Foreign Minister of Chile. China’s diplomatic offensive concerning China’s accession to the TPP is continuing. Please tell us again your thoughts on this and Japan’s stance.

Minister Motegi: Firstly, we would like Chile to quickly advance its domestic procedure, as it is extremely delayed in its accession to the TPP. Even the signing ceremony for the TPP was convened in Chile. Then-President Bachelet wanted the signing ceremony to be held in Chile, so it was convened there on March 18. Chile has still not ratified the agreement, so we would like them to firstly firmly advance their own procedure rather than commenting about other countries.

Attack on a Saudi Arabian Airport

Pan Orient News, Azhari: I would like to ask about the Middle East. There were some attacks on civilian airport in Saudi Arabia and I think ambassador of Japan in Saudi Arabia protested. What is your further reactions in terms of Japan having good relations with the parties involved in the situation there.

Minister Motegi: The Government of Japan strongly condemns the repeated cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia, including the attack on October 8 on King Abdullah airport in southern Saudi Arabia. The Government has been calling on all the parties concerned, including the Houthis, to quickly begin dialogue toward an immediate ceasefire and political solution in Yemen. Japan will continue to support the international community’s efforts toward ending the conflict in Yemen, including the activities by Mr. Grundberg, the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen.

I myself have also urged that a ceasefire and peace be realized in Yemen, taking the opportunities of telephone talks with my counterparts in relevant countries and during my visit to the Middle East in August. I will continue to work to realize peace and stability in Yemen and the Middle East, including by implementing humanitarian assistance, in cooperation with relevant countries inside and outside the region.

Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) Summit Telephone Talk

Dong-a Ilbo, Kim: It is expected that a Japan-ROK Summit Telephone Talk will be held as soon as this evening. Please tell us Japan’s stance on this issue.

Minister Motegi: Japan’s what?

Dong-a Ilbo, Kim: Stance. Japan’s position. To add, I get the sense that Japan has been putting off the telephone talk with ROK’s. Some people have the view that the ROK is being disregarded by Japan. What is your reaction to this?

Minister Motegi: Prime Minister Kishida has been holding series of summit telephone talks with the leaders of major countries quickly after assuming his position as Prime Minister, and amidst the Diet schedule and other plans. He has held summit telephone talks with the United States, Australia, Russia, China, India, and the United Kingdom thus far. Firstly, there are many countries that are important to Japan. His counterparts also have their own plan, so Prime Minister Kishida has been holding telephone talks after coordinating the timing.

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Statement by U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley)

Pan Orient News, Azhari: I would like to ask about the Iranian nuclear case we are at the reaction by the envoy to the Iranian nuclear negotiations about nuclear facilities there that all American envoys.

Minister Motegi: You mean Rob Malley?

Pan Orient News, Azhari: Yes. He said that all options are on the table and some Middle East people consider that war is an option. What is Japan’s position on this issue in general?

Minister Motegi: I have not directly confirmed the statement made by Special Envoy Malley, so I would like to refrain from commenting.

Back to Press Conferences