Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa
Sunday, March 27, 2022, 10:32 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: The Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) Ministerial Meeting was held over two days with the participation of foreign ministers and others from 50 African countries. I chaired the meeting. During the meeting, looking ahead to TICAD 8 in August this year, we held substantial discussions on priority issues in African development based on three pillars: Economy, Society, and Peace and Stability. As already stated, I also took this opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with seven countries, in which I held frank exchanges of views toward cooperation on priority issues of Japanese diplomacy.
Before getting into the details of the meeting, I stated that Russia’s recent aggression against Ukraine is a unilateral change of the status quo by force and totally unacceptable as it constitutes a violation of international law which shakes the very foundations of the international order. I also emphasized that the international community needs to address the situation in a concerted manner. In response, the African countries expressed concern over the situation in Ukraine and its impacts and shared recognition of the need for cooperation by the international community.
Next, we discussed African development. Since TICAD 7, one of the largest changes to strike Africa has been the novel coronavirus. As a message from Japan for the Ministerial Meeting, I stated that now is the time for Japan and Africa to build a sustainable society together and that Japan will continue to support the realization of African development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with an emphasis on “people” and “quality growth.” I also conveyed Japan’s intention to cooperate with Africa toward realizing a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”
Additionally, during the meeting, I held discussions with everyone from the African countries about building strong economies by handling development finance issues and promoting private investment, realizing sustainable societies including novel coronavirus countermeasures, and realizing peace and stability including advancing the consolidation of democracy and the rule of law. I pointed out the importance of swiftly realizing the United Nations Security Council reform, and stated that we would like to strengthen cooperation with Africa on this aspect.
In addition, at the end of the meeting, Tunisia announced the logo for TICAD 8 which it will host. This will be shared later. Based on the results of the Ministerial Meeting, Japan and African countries will cooperate to make TICAD 8 a success. That is all from me.
Reporter: You spoke about African countries during your opening remarks just now. Some countries do not necessarily have the same position as Japan on Russia and China. What is your reaction to the difference in positions?
Minister Hayashi: Well, firstly, the repeated United Nations resolutions due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were adopted with the support of about 140 countries and declared the view of the international community. I believe that Japan is not in the position to explain what positions various African countries are taking. During this meeting, I stated that Russia’s recent aggression against Ukraine is a change of the status quo by force and totally unacceptable as it is an act that shakes the very foundations of the international order. The African countries expressed concern about the situation in Ukraine and its impacts and shared recognition of the need for cooperation by the international community. We did not have any discussion on China in particular.
Reporter: Regarding your discussion on development finance which you mentioned in your opening remarks, please tell us what explanation Japan gave and how the African side reacted.
Minister Hayashi: I emphasized the importance of strengthening the international economic system based on free and open rules, including fair and transparent development finance for the sustainable development of African countries. We shared awareness of the issues and confirmed that we will continue to cooperate.
Reporter: You mentioned the importance of swiftly realizing the Security Council reform. I believe this statement was due to the situation in Ukraine. How did the African countries react to this?
Minister Hayashi: As I stated earlier regarding the other issue, I am not in the position to speak about what statements the respective countries made and what their positions were. As I said before, the African countries expressed concern about the situation in Ukraine and its impacts and shared recognition of the need for cooperation by the international community.
Reporter: You stated before that there was no discussion on China in particular. Does that mean you did not have any discussion on China in any of the themes discussed during the two-day schedule of the meeting?
Minister Hayashi: I believe there was a question about development finance earlier, and I replied that there was no discussion on China in particular. The overall theme was Africa, so there was no discussion on China.