Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary YOSHIDA Tomoyuki

Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 3:45 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

U.S.-Russia Summit Teleconference Meeting (Situation in Ukraine)

Hokkaido Shimbun, Bun: I would like to ask about the situation in Ukraine. The U.S.-Russia Summit Meeting was held online. Please tell us your assessment and how the Government of Japan views the current situation surrounding Ukraine.

Mr. YOSHIDA Tomoyuki, Press Secretary: You asked about the situation in Ukraine. Firstly, regarding the U.S.-Russia Summit Teleconference Meeting that you asked about in your first question, I am aware that the governments of the United States and Russia held a summit meeting in the teleconference format on December 7. I am also aware that both governments announced their respective overview of the meeting.

Basically, it would be customary to refrain from commenting as this is a matter of relations between third-party countries. However, I am aware that there was an exchange of views with the main topic being the situation in Ukraine, which you asked about, during the meeting. I know that both the governments of the United States and Russia announced that they agreed to further continue the consultations concerning the situation in Ukraine.

The international community has strong concerns regarding the response to the situation in Ukraine. Japan has been consistently supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statements on the situation in Ukraine have been issued many times, and the Government of Japan has participated in these.

Japan has concerns about the current movements to build up the Russian military forces in the area near the border with Ukraine and is following the developments with interest.

During the Japan-Russia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on November 25, Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa indicated concern and high interest about the worsening situation concerning Ukraine to Foreign Minister Lavrov. We will continue to follow with high interest the developments between the United States and Russia as well as those of relevant countries.

Beijing Winter Olympic Games (Diplomatic Boycott)

Asahi Shimbun, Nohira: I would like to ask about the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. After the United States announced its diplomatic boycott, Australia made its announcement. What is your take on countries announcing diplomatic boycotts after the United States? In addition, there are reports saying that Japan will dispatch the Commissioner of the Japan Sports Agency and the President of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) to the Games. Please tell us the current status of consideration of the Government of Japan.

Press Secretary Yoshida: I am of course aware of the content of the announcements by the governments of the United States and Australia regarding the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, which you asked about. On the other hand, I would like to refrain from commenting here about the responses of other countries to the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

Now, about the Government of Japan’s response, as explained through now by the Foreign Minister and Chief Cabinet Secretary, our approach has been that we will make our own decision at the appropriate time after giving comprehensive consideration of various issues. At this point, nothing has been decided, including matters such as specific names or posts which you just mentioned. We continue to expect that the Beijing Winter Olympic Games will be held as an event for peace.

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