Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa
Saturday, November 13, 2021, 9:25 a.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I just held my first Japan-U.S. Foreign Ministers’ Telephone Talk with Secretary of State Blinken for over 30 minutes.
At the outset, I expressed my wish to build a good relationship with Secretary Blinken like the one he had with former Foreign Minister Motegi, and Secretary Blinken offered his congratulations.
During the telephone talk, Secretary Blinken and I reaffirmed that we will work closely in further strengthening the Japan-U.S. Alliance, realizing a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” and responding to global issues such as the novel coronavirus and climate change. We also exchanged views on regional affairs including China and North Korea. Regarding North Korea, we shared the view to coordinate closely between Japan and the United States. I also asked for continued understanding and cooperation on the abductions issue, to which Secretary Blinken offered his support.
In addition, in light of the increasingly severe regional security environment, we concurred on advancing the strengthening of the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance as an urgent matter, and to coordinate toward holding a “2+2” meeting at the earliest possible opportunity.
We also shared the view to steadily implement the realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan, from the perspective of mitigating the impact on local communities such as Okinawa.
Furthermore, Secretary Blinken reaffirmed the United States’ unwavering commitment to the defense of Japan including the application of Article V of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty to the Senkaku Islands.
The Japan-U.S. Alliance is the linchpin of Japan’s diplomacy and security. I believe it is extremely significant that my first foreign ministers’ telephone talk after assuming my post as Minister for Foreign Affairs was with Secretary Blinken. I believe this was a very important first step to building a relationship of mutual trust with him.
Both Secretary Blinken and I once formed bands. I hope to play in harmony with him toward further strengthening the Japan-U.S. Alliance.
Reporter: Did a visit to the United States by Prime Minister Kishida come up as a topic in your telephone talk today? If it did, please tell us what you discussed.
Minister Hayashi: We shared the view to coordinate for a visit as soon as possible based on the discussion between Prime Minister Kishida and President Biden during COP26.
Reporter: Regarding the U.S. Forces in Japan, consultations on Host Nation Support (HNS) are currently being held between Japan and the United States. Was this a topic in your telephone talk?
Minister Hayashi: We discussed the Japan-U.S. Alliance in general, but did not discuss HNS in particular.
Reporter: The online U.S.-China Summit Meeting will be held soon. Did that come up?
Minister Hayashi: We did not discuss that in particular.
Reporter: You discussed regional affairs including China. Did you discuss the Strait of Taiwan, such as Taiwan contingency?
Minister Hayashi: Secretary Blinken and I shared the recognition that the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait are important.