Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa

Friday, May 20, 2022, 10:58 a.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

(Video) Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI
This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.

Opening Remarks

Emergency Grant Aid to Sri Lanka

Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I have one announcement to make. On May 20, the Government of Japan decided to provide Emergency Grant Aid of 3 million US dollars to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka faces difficulty in importing and supplying essential goods such as medicines and food due to the decline in foreign exchange reserves causing the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country. In response to the situation, Japan will provide this Emergency Grant Aid of 3 million US dollars through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP), in a way that will directly benefit the people in Sri Lanka.

Japan hopes that this assistance will contribute to overcoming hardships faced by the people of Sri Lanka, with whom we have a long-standing and amicable relations. That is all from me.

Japan-Australia-India-U.S. (Quad) Summit Meeting

Sankei Shimbun, Okada: I would like to ask about the Quad Summit Meeting. India has not joined sanctions against Russia, and the Quad has failed to keep pace with the response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, the Quad is a forum to discuss various issues, not limited to Russia-related issues. Through this Summit Meeting, do you think the leaders are able to embrace India and demonstrate the unity of the Quad? Please tell us your thoughts.

Minister Hayashi: At this point, I would like to refrain from speculating about the details of the discussion. However, I believe that it is important to conduct candid discussions among the leaders on international and regional affairs, including the situation in Ukraine. I also believe it is important to clearly convey that any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo by force, such as Russia’s current action must not be tolerated in any region, and that is why it is critical to further promote efforts toward the realization of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”

China’s Installment of a Target in the Same Shape a Japan Air Self-Defense Forces’ Aircraft

Nikkei Shimbun, Miki: I know that time is limited, but I would like to ask one question regarding our company’s report. In cooperation with experts, we analyzed satellite images and found that an object of the same shape as the Airborne Warning and Control System, operated by the Japan Self-Defense Forces, was installed in the desert area of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China. First, what is your take on this? In addition, while some consider that it is in anticipation of a contingency in Taiwan, please tell us your view on the movement of the Chinese Military.

Minister Hayashi: I am aware of the report. However, due to the nature of this matter, I would like to refrain from answering each of the specific contents of the information and its analysis.

In any case, China’s military movements in the areas surrounding Japan have become a serious security concerns for the international community and the region, including Japan. At the Japan-China Foreign Ministers’ Video Conference held on May 18, I raised these concerns directly and candidly to Mr. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China.

Japan believes that peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait are important not only for the security of Japan but also for the stability of the international community. Our consistent position has been that we hope that issues surrounding Taiwan will be resolved peacefully through dialogue.

In general terms, as the security environment surrounding Japan becomes increasingly severe, I would like to say that it is a matter of course that the Government of Japan take all possible measures in order to respond to any situation.

Sightseeing Tour Boat Accident Off the Shiretoko Peninsula (Newly Found Victim’s Body)

NTV, Mori: It has been announced that another body was found off the coast of Kunashiri Island, and that the Russian side contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday. In addition, some media reports that there was an ID card written in Japanese. Please tell us what you know about this matter.

Minister Hayashi: At this time, it is not clear whether the body is related to the sightseeing tour boat accident off the Shiretoko Peninsula. However, I am aware that, on May 19, the Russian side provided information through diplomatic channels that a body had been found on the west coast of Kunashiri Island, and that it was possibly one of the missing persons from the sightseeing tour boat accident off the Shiretoko Peninsula.

In response to this information, the Japan Coast Guard has provided explanations to the families of the passengers. MOFA will continue to make every effortto confirm thefacts through diplomatic channels.

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