Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa
Sunday, May 1, 2022, 3:06 p.m. Mongolia
Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: Following my visit to Central Asia, I am visiting Mongolia, which is located in a geopolitically important position between China and Russia, as the first Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs to do so in one and a half years. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Japan-Mongolia diplomatic relations as well as the Year of Friendship and Exchange of Mongolian and Japanese Children and Youth. As the “third neighbor” of Mongolia, I will seek to further strengthen the “strategic partnership” between Mongolia, with which we share universal values, by taking this opportunity and engaging in an in-depth exchange of views.
Mongolia has endorsed the idea of realizing a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” from the start, and bilateral cooperation between our two countries is being promoted in a wide range of fields including strengthening connectivity and support for capacity-building in the PKO field. We have announced the results of the review of the Japan-Mongolia Mid-term Action Plan which determined the cooperation goals in various fields between our two governments. For further details about each cooperation, please refer to the results of the review.
During the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and a courtesy call on Prime Minister Oyun-Erdene this morning, we exchanged views regarding matters such as bilateral cooperation and the situations in Ukraine and North Korea. Concerning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Mongolian side again explained their position that it is important for there to be an immediate ceasefire and for the tensions to be eased. I urged Mongolia by stating that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a grave situation that undermines the foundation of the international order, including Asia, and strongly requires the solidarity of the international community. Regarding North Korea, we confirmed continued cooperation in our response, including the nuclear and missiles issue such as North Korea’s launch of the ICBM on March 24 and the immediate resolution of the abductions issue.
I also signed the exchange of notes for the Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship grant aid with Foreign Minister Battsetseg. This program supports the study abroad of Mongolian officials at Japanese graduate schools. Moreover, this morning I visited the Shine Mongol Harumafuji School established by the former Yokozuna sumo wrestling champion HARUMAFUJI Kohei and had the chance to interact with Mongolian senior high school students receiving Japanese-style education. Furthermore, after this press conference, I plan to hold a conversation with young Mongolian entrepreneurs with deep ties to Japan. Through such efforts, I expect that the circle of young generations’ exchanges in our two countries will be further expanded.
Besides this, I plan to offer flowers at the Memorial Monument for Deceased Japanese this evening and pay a courtesy call to President Khurelsukh tomorrow. I also plan to visit Chinggis Khaan International Airport, which was completed in the summer of last year by international yen loan and for which Japanese companies participate in the management, and take part in the 50th-anniversary commemorative tree-planting. I expect that the airport will become a symbol of the “air connectivity” between our two countries.
That is all from me.
Reporter: The Central Asian countries and Mongolia, which you have visited this time, are all countries that have certain relations with Russia. Were you able to reach any sort of specific agreement with these countries in terms of how to deal with Russia? I believe you are urging countries that are being careful about standing up against Russia, so please tell us your take.
Minister Hayashi: I have held frank discussions regarding the situation in Ukraine with various countries during my visits this time. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan pointed out the necessity of a peaceful resolution based on international law and the United Nations Charter.
The Mongolian side again explained its position that it is important for there to be an immediate ceasefire and for tensions to be eased, and also provided an explanation regarding Mongolia’s humanitarian assistance for Ukraine. I urged various countries by stating that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a violation of international law that forbids the use of force and a grave situation that undermines the foundation of the international order, including Asia, and strongly requires the solidarity and cooperation of the international community. I shared the view with various countries that we would continue to engage in close communication.
Japan will continue to directly urge the international community in close cooperation with relevant countries, including the G7.
Reporter: During your exchange of views with the Mongolian side today, there was an explanation of Mongolia’s position that it is important to have an immediate ceasefire, but I believe this still differs from Japan’s position of condemning Russia and levying sanctions. How do you intend to urge the Mongolian side going forward?
Minister Hayashi: The Mongolian side again explained its position that it is important for there to be an immediate ceasefire and for tensions to be eased, and also provided an explanation regarding Mongolia’s humanitarian assistance for Ukraine. The Japanese side urged Mongolia by stating that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a violation of international law that forbids the use of force and is a grave situation that undermines the foundation of the international order, including Asia, and strongly requires the solidarity of the international community. I would like to continue close cooperation going forward.
Reporter: During your Japan-Mongolia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting today, what did you specifically discuss during your exchange regarding North Korea, specifically the abductions issue?
Minister Hayashi: In recent years, Mongolia has played an important role concerning security in Northeast Asia, including holding the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on security in Northeast Asia in which North Korea and Japan participate. During our meeting, we confirmed continued cooperation in responding to North Korea, including regarding the nuclear and missiles issue as well as the abductions issue.