Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa
Friday, June 24, 2022, 7:53 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: Today from 6:30 p.m. for 75 minutes I attended the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting online that was held in a hybrid format. At the meeting, the G7 Foreign Ministers reaffirmed in the strongest terms their condemnation of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, and engaged in intensive discussions on how to respond to the current global food crisis.
The current food crisis has been brought about by Russia’s war against Ukraine. G7 Foreign Ministers concurred that Russia is responsible for the food crisis, and has exacerbated food insecurity, including by blocking the Black Sea, bombing grain silos and ports, and damaging Ukraine’s agricultural infrastructure. We also called on Russia to unblock Ukrainian Black Sea ports for food exports, expressing support for United Nations’ efforts to reopen a Black Sea route, and also for the EU’s “Solidarity Lanes” aimed at exporting grain via land routes. We also confirmed that we will strengthen reconstruction and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and neighboring countries, including Moldova.
At the meeting, I pointed out that it is of the utmost importance to provide support for and stand by the people of countries who are facing hardship, and to provide support for Ukraine’s exports of grain, which will be entering harvest season. I also announced that Japan intends to consider further food assistance in order to respond to the global food crisis.
In addition, this meeting was a good opportunity to engage in preparations for the G7 Summit in Elmau that is scheduled to begin on June 26, and for the G7 to reaffirm their understanding of various important issues, including the food crisis. From 9:30 p.m. this evening I will also be attending the Berlin Ministerial Conference “Uniting for Global Food Security.” At the conference, taking into account the discussions among G7 Foreign Ministers, we plan to state that Russia is responsible for the global food crisis, and I would like to express that Japan intends to engage in efforts to enhance food security in cooperation with the international community and international organizations, and particularly contribute to provide support for Ukraine’s exports of grain.
Reporter: Some countries in Africa and other regions are claiming that the food crisis is being caused by the sanctions imposed on Russia by the G7 and other western countries. What are your opinions with regard to such views?
Minister Hayashi: As I just noted, such narratives are being propagated by Russia. Some countries in Africa and other regions have expressed their sympathy with or understanding of such narratives. When Japan held the TICAD8 Ministerial Meeting with African countries, some of these voices were raised, and we have been sharing such information with our G7 colleagues. At this G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, we concurred that the G7 should send out a clear statement that the food crisis was a result of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.