Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa

Thursday, April 28, 2022, 6:09 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

Opening Remarks

Visits to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia by Foreign Minister Hayashi

Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I have one announcement.

From April 28 to May 2, I will visit Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in Central Asia, and then Mongolia. I will visit these three countries that are Japan’s strategic partners which are located in geopolitically important areas. My goal is to strengthen bilateral relations, exchange views regarding regional affairs and confirm our cooperation.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Kazakhstan as well as between Japan and Uzbekistan. I will visit both countries as the first Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs to do so in 12 years and meet with dignitaries. I would like to further strengthen relations and have a frank exchange of views regarding the relevant regional situation with both countries, which play an important role in supplying food and electricity to Afghanistan and engagement with the Taliban, and also have close relations with both Ukraine and Russia.

In addition, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Mongolia. As the Foreign Minister of Japan, which is an important “third neighbor” of Mongolia, I plan to hold a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Mongolia and pay courtesy calls to the President and Prime Minister. I plan to further strengthen our “strategic partnership” and exchange views regarding regional affairs, including our response to North Korea, with Mongolia, with which Japan shares universal values. That is all from me.

A Visit to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia by Foreign Minister Hayashi

Kyodo News, Maeda: I would like to ask about your visit to Central Asia. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have close relations with Ukraine and Russia. Regarding the situation in Ukraine, what specific issues would you like to raise and what results do you expect?

Minister Hayashi: During my visits, I would like to strengthen bilateral relations, exchange views regarding regional affairs, and confirm bilateral cooperation with dignitaries in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

In particular, I would like to emphasize that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law and a serious situation that undermines the foundation of the international order, firmly conveying that the international community needs to take an aligned response, and affirm close cooperation.

Japan-Australia-India-U.S. Summit Meeting / A Visit to Japan by President Biden of the United States

Yomiuri Shimbun, Abe: It was announced that President Biden of the United States will visit Japan. Please tell us the significance of the visit to Japan by the President at this time, as well as the significance of the Quad summit meeting that will be held on the same occasion.

Minister Hayashi: If various circumstances permit, President Biden will visit Japan from May 22-24. He plans to have a Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting with Prime Minister Kishida on May 23 and attend the Japan-Australia-India-U.S. Summit Meeting held in Tokyo on May 24 by the Government of Japan.

We sincerely welcome his visit to Japan which will be his first visit since his inauguration as President following his visit in 2013 as Vice President.

The Japan-U.S. Alliance is the linchpin of Japan’s diplomacy and security policy, as well as the foundation of peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and the international community. As the international order has been hit by a major shock due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which has involved a unilateral change to the status quo by force, I believe it is extremely important to confirm close cooperation in all aspects, including further strengthening of the Japan-U.S. Alliance and working toward realizing a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” to ensure peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific, especially East Asia. I expect that his visit to Japan will be an opportunity to show the determination of Japan and the United States.

In addition, on May 24, Prime Minister Kishida will host the Japan-Australia-India-U.S. Summit Meeting in Tokyo. Efforts by these four countries are now playing a central role in promoting a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” and have especially advanced practical cooperation in vaccines, infrastructure, important emerging technologies, and other fields. We would like to leverage the fact that the upcoming meeting will be held in person to hold a frank exchange of views between the leaders regarding the international and regional situation, and have this be an opportunity to show from Japan to the world the strong commitment to cooperation toward realizing a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”

Inauguration Ceremony for the President-Elect of the Republic of Korea (ROK)

Mainichi Shimbun, Kusakabe: The inauguration ceremony for the next President of the ROK will be held on May 10. Please tell us the status of consideration for dispatching a special envoy or representative from Japan. In addition, if someone will be dispatched, please tell us if you have any thoughts on who would be appropriate to be sent.

Minister Hayashi: Nothing has been specifically decided at this point regarding the Government of Japan’s response to the inauguration ceremony for President-elect Yoon.

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