Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary ONO Hikariko
Friday, April 8, 2022, 4:43 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ms. ONO Hikariko, Press Secretary: Today, April 8, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs MORI Takeo summoned Russian Ambassador to Japan Mikhail Yurievich Galuzin and conveyed the following to the Ambassador.
Japan is shocked that a large number of civilians in Ukraine have been killed as a result of the acts of the Russian forces. The killing of many innocent civilians is a grave breach of international humanitarian law and a war crime. It is absolutely unacceptable, and Japan vehemently condemns it. We strongly demand that Russia withdraw all its forces immediately. Russia’s propaganda that denies the killing of civilians by the Russian forces and claims it is faked by Ukraine and the West is completely unacceptable.
Due to this situation, as a result of comprehensive consideration, Japan demands that eight diplomats of the Embassy of Russia in Japan and personnel of the Russian trade representative be expelled from Japan.
In response, Ambassador Galuzin stated Russia’s claims. However, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Mori again stated that this was absolutely unacceptable to the Government of Japan, re-stated Japan’s position, and ended the meeting.
That is all from me.
Yomiuri Shimbun, Kaneko: It is expected that Russia will expel diplomats from the Japanese Embassy in Russia as a countermeasure to Japan’s measure. What are your views from the perspective of protecting Japanese nationals and in terms of diplomatic risks?
Press Secretary Ono: As this is a speculative question, I would basically like to refrain from answering. In any event, MOFA will continue to exert all efforts to protect Japanese nationals and corporate activities in Russia.
TV Asahi, Sawai: Is Ambassador Galuzin included in the eight diplomats being expelled? In addition, regarding the procedure, will the diplomats be designated as persona non grata based on the Vienna Convention? By when were the diplomats requested to leave Japan?
Press Secretary Ono: Firstly, I would like to refrain from answering about the identities of the eight people. On your question about when the people should leave Japan by, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Mori conveyed the deadline to Ambassador Galuzin. However, I would like to refrain from answering the details as this is diplomatic communication.
As for your question about persona non grata, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations stipulates that the receiving state may at any time and without having to explain its decision, notify the sending state that the head of the mission or any member of the diplomatic staff of the mission is persona non grata. Based on this, the receiving state can request the person to leave the state.
Based on this system, as a result of comprehensive consideration, Japan is formally requesting that eight diplomats of the Embassy of Russia in Japan and personnel of the Russian trade representative be expelled from Japan. Japan believes that Russia will respond in accordance with our request.