Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa

Tuesday, June 28, 2022, 10:50 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

(1) Visit to the Philippines by Foreign Minister Hayashi

Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I have two announcements.

First, I will be visiting the Philippines from June 29 to July 1 as the Special Envoy of Prime Minister Kishida to attend the inauguration ceremony of the 17th President of the Philippines that will be held on June 30 in Manila.

On this occasion, I also plan to meet with dignitaries of the Government of the Philippines including the new President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and the new Vice President Sara Z. Duterte. Through this visit, I will confirm cooperation towards realizing a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” and further strengthen bilateral relations with the Philippines, our important regional strategic partner.

(2) Emergency Grant Aid for Afghanistan

Minister Hayashi: Secondly, Japan has decided to extend Emergency Grant Aid of $3 million as humanitarian assistance for the damage caused by the earthquake that occurred in eastern Afghanistan on June 22.

On June 24, we have already decided to provide emergency relief goods such as blankets and sleeping pads, and some of the goods were delivered to Afghanistan on June 26.

Japan’s Emergency Grant Aid this time will serve as humanitarian assistance in health, medical care, and other fields through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies based on local needs. The Government of Japan will continue to provide considerate support to the people of Afghanistan.

That is all from me.

Visit to the Philippines by Foreign Minister Hayashi

Yomiuri Shimbun, Yoda: I would like to ask about your visit to the Philippines that you mentioned in your opening remarks.

Minister Hayashi: Please raise the microphone a little.

Yomiuri Shimbun, Yoda: Yes, I will.

Minister Hayashi: It is hard to hear you.

Yomiuri Shimbun, Yoda: I am sorry. The new President Marcos of the Philippines is indicating a stance of placing importance on relations with China. Please tell us your reaction to this. Also, please tell us how the Government of Japan will build relations with the new administration going forward.

Minister Hayashi: I would like to refrain from commenting in detail about the diplomatic relations between third-party countries. Japan will closely coordinate with the new Marcos administration for cooperation towards realizing a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” and further strengthening bilateral relations with the Philippines, our important regional strategic partner.

For Japan, the Philippines is a neighboring maritime country, and our strategic partner with which we share fundamental values and strategic interests.

Japan intend to further develop bilateral relations, further materialize cooperation towards realizing a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” and strengthen coordination on various issues in the regional and international communities.

NATO’s New Strategic Concept / Japan’s Participation in the NATO Summit

Asahi Shimbun, Nohira: The NATO’s Strategic Concept is expected to be revised for the first time in 12 years. Meanwhile, it is also expected that the new Strategic Concept will specify how to deal with China. Please tell us the Government of Japan’s reaction to this.

In addition, Prime Minister Kishida will be the first Japanese Prime Minister to attend the NATO Summit. China is strongly opposed to such a close relationship between Japan and NATO. Please tell us your view again on this matter.

Minister Hayashi: As you pointed out, I am aware that discussions are currently underway among the NATO member countries towards the formulation of NATO’s new Strategic Concept for the first time in 12 years, and that it is expected to mention NATO’s position on China. I recognize and appreciate the efforts for the formulation of NATO’s new Strategic Concept that will reaffirm NATO’s current sense of values, objectives, missions, and other such matters and will be more in line with the current international affairs.

In addition to NATO’s new Strategic Concept, we welcome that NATO has had a higher interest in the security environment in the Indo-Pacific region in recent years, as I attended the Meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs in April, and Prime Minister Kishida was invited to the NATO Summit that will be held from June 29 local time. Japan will continue to strengthen cooperation with NATO.

Moreover, since 2021, NATO has been strengthening relations with its Asia-Pacific partners, including Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK). This is the first time that an Asia-Pacific partners were invited to the Partners’ Session of the NATO Summit.

I would like to refrain from commenting in detail on the reactions of third-party countries to Japan’s participation in the NATO Summit. In any case, based on the understanding that the security of the West and the Indo-Pacific are indivisible, Japan will reaffirm the unity and strengthen the cooperation between Japan and NATO in dealing with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and maintaining and strengthening the international order based on the rule of law.

Response to the Global Food Crisis (Support for Ukraine and Africa)

Mainichi Shimbun, Konno: I would like to ask about support for Ukraine’s grain exports. Yesterday, Prime Minister Kishida announced $200 million in assistance to Ukraine. Last week, you also mentioned about support for Ukraine’s grain exports. Please tell us how that is related. Moreover, what is the significance of Japan’s support for Ukraine’s exports? In addition, TICAD will be held with Africa in August. Please tell us about Japan’s stance on providing support for the African region.

Minister Hayashi: On June 27 at the G7 Elmau Summit, under the intention of showing the G7’s unity through concrete support, Prime Minister Kishida announced that Japan would newly provide assistance of approximately $200 million in response to the global food crisis. As part of this, in response to the stagnation of Ukraine’s grain exports and the lack of grain storehouses within Ukraine, Japan will support the expansion of the storage capacity for grain in Ukraine through the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Specifically, to regions in Ukraine where storage capacity is expected to be insufficient, Japan is quickly working out the details in order to distribute and establish simple storehouses for grain, and to provide equipment for taking out the grain.

Additionally, in order to promote exports from alternative routes, which has become an urgent issue following the suspension of exports from the Black Sea, Japan is coordinating to provide support to improve the processing capacity of the plant quarantine stations on the border with Romania.

Through this support, as it is said that July to August will be the harvest time, Japan will promote Ukraine’s grain exports and contribute to strengthening food security around the world.

During the TICAD Ministerial Meeting, various foreign ministers attending TICAD also raised the issue of the impact of soaring food prices, including wheat. Thus, as I just stated, I believe that strengthening food security will lead to responding to those voices at TICAD.

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