Press Conferences

Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa

Wednesday, December 22, 2021, 9:30 a.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

Opening Remarks

Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: The ministerial budget negotiations have just been conducted. As a result, two budgetary provisions that MOFA places importance on have been approved.

The first is a provision of about 4.6 billion yen for leading the response to infectious diseases, including the novel coronavirus, tackling global challenges, including climate change, and an ODA budget essential for realizing the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”

The second is a provision for the necessary budget to enhance the facilities of diplomatic missions, which serve as the “last bastion” for overseas Japanese nationals, as well as to protect and support Japanese nationals and promote the digitalization of the implementation architecture for diplomatic and consular duties. This is worth about 1.8 billion yen.

Using these budgets as well, we will further open up the frontiers of Japanese diplomacy.

Question-and-Answer Session

Reporter: I have a question about the ODA budget you just referred to. Could you please share your thoughts regarding the current situation and issues facing ODA?

Minister Hayashi: To realize a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” we intend to engage in strengthening connectivity through supporting quality infrastructure, mainly in the port, road development, and aviation sectors, as well as maintaining equipment for maritime safety, and technical cooperation.

Our staff will explain the details.

Reporter: Allow me to ask a question unrelated to the budget. According to some reports, the Deputy Governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture is suspected to have been involved in your election campaign, in activities to recruit supporters, and the case will be sent to prosecutors shortly.

What are your thoughts on such an incident occurring during your election campaign?

Minister Hayashi: It is as I stated at yesterday’s press conference. I am aware of the Deputy Governor’s comments. However, I would like to refrain from responding to your question as it concerns investigative activities.

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