Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa

Tuesday, July 26, 2022, 11:42 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 United States by Foreign Minister Hayashi

Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: Firstly, I am scheduled to visit Washington, D.C. in the United States from July 28 to 31.

During my visit, I will attend the first Japan-U.S. Economic Policy Consultative Committee (EPCC), also known as the Economic “2+2”. Prime Minister Kishida and President Biden agreed to launch the Economic “2+2” during the Japan-U.S. Summit Video Teleconference Meeting in January 2022. Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hagiuda and I plan to hold consultations from a strategic perspective with Secretary of State Blinken and Secretary of Commerce Raimondo towards strengthening the competitiveness and resilience of Japan and the United States as well as maintaining and strengthening the free and open economic order, and confirm close cooperation in diplomacy, security, and the economy between our two countries.

Japan and the United States have repeatedly held “2+2” meetings regarding diplomacy, security, and defense. However, the launch and holding of the Economic “2+2” clearly shows the recognition of the governments of Japan and the United States that diplomacy, security, and the economy cannot be considered separately in today’s international community.

In addition, I will hold a Japan-U.S. Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with Secretary of State Blinken to follow up on the results of President Biden’s visit to Japan in May and reaffirm close cooperation towards further strengthening the Japan-U.S. Alliance and realizing a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”

Furthermore, I plan to deliver a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). I will indicate my views regarding current regional and international affairs, the strategic environment, and the roles that Japan and the United States should play as well as the challenges.

My first visit to Washington D.C. as Foreign Minister will be an opportunity to further strengthen the Japan-U.S. Alliance, which is the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and the international community.

(2) Personnel Decisions on Senior MOFA Officials

Minister Hayashi: The other announcement is the personnel decisions related to senior officials of MOFA that the Cabinet approved during the meeting today.

The announcements will be effective as of August 1 and August 4. The materials will be distributed later. Director-General ONO Keiichi of the Economic Affairs Bureau, who served as Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs will take a heavy responsibility as Sherpa for the G7 Hiroshima Summit, and Director-General NAMAZU Hiroyuki of the International Legal Affairs Bureau. Deputy Director-General MIKANAGI Tomohiro of the International Legal Affairs Bureau will succeed him.

Executive Secretary to the Prime Minister NAKAGOME Masashi will be promoted to the post of \ Director-General of the European Affairs Bureau, handling the situation in Ukraine. Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs SUZUKI Hiroshi, in charge of the economy, as well as Director-General UYAMA Hideki of the European Affairs Bureau have been appointed to the Minister’s Secretariat.

Under the new structure, MOFA will continue to exert all efforts to address a wide-ranging diplomatic issues. That is all from me.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference

Mainichi Shimbun, Konno: I would like to ask about the NPT Review Conference. Prime Minister Kishida and you have stated that you will exert all efforts to achieve significant results. What specific results are you expecting?

Minister Hayashi: If various circumstances permit, Prime Minister Kishida is scheduled to attend the NPT Review Conference, which you have mentioned. With the attendance by Prime Minister Kishida, the Government of Japan intends to exert all efforts to ensure that the NPT Review Conference achieves significant results.

I would like to refrain from giving an answer based on speculation about the results of the upcoming Conference. However, the NPT is the cornerstone of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, in which both nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states participate. I believe it is important for the international community to unite to maintain and strengthen the NPT.

Visit to Japan by President Joko of Indonesia

Tribune News, Susilo: Good morning. The President of Indonesia plans to visit Tokyo tomorrow. He then plans to meet His Majesty the Emperor and Foreign Minister Kishida. What will the leaders of the two countries discuss? Will there be an exchange of documents, such as a memorandum of understanding?

Minister Hayashi: During the visit of President Joko to Japan tomorrow, on July 27, a Japan-Indonesia Summit Meeting, joint press conference, and Japan-Indonesia summit working lunch will be held. Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan plan to grant an audience to President Joko and his spouse.

Japan will closely cooperate with Indonesia, our strategic partner with which we share fundamental values, towards realizing a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”

Furthermore, there is no particular plan to sign the outcome document.


Pan Orient News, Azhari: My question is again about TICAD. Is Prime Minister Kishida still planning to attend the Summit? And what is Japan’s message and new contributions if any to this Summit in TICAD given the latest development in the world.

Minister Hayashi: Regarding TICAD8 which will be held on August 27 and 28, it is necessary to continue to monitor COVID-19 situation and the like. If various circumstances permit, Prime Minister Kishida plans to visit Tunisia and attend TICAD8. There is no change in this policy.

In addition to COVID-19, as the steep rise in food and energy prices caused by the situation in Ukraine has had a major economic and social impacts on Africa, I believe that international cooperation is especially important at this time. During the TICAD Ministerial Meeting in March 2022, which I chaired, we discussed the impact of the situation in Ukraine on Africa and the need for the international community to cooperate regarding this.

AtTICAD8 in August 2022, based on such discussions, there will be discussions on development issues in Africa, including strengthening food security, and the conference will indicate the direction of African development with a view to the post-COVID-19 era.

State Funeral for former Prime Minister ABE Shinzo (Attendance from Myanmar)

Yomiuri Shimbun, Abe: I would like to ask about the state funeral for former Prime Minister Abe on September 27. I believe that international condemnation has grown since the recent executions of pro-democracy activists in Myanmar has been attracting international criticism. If dignitaries from Myanmar wish to attend the state funeral, will Japan accept them? Please tell us your basic view on this.

Minister Hayashi: On July 25, Myanmar’s state-owned newspaper reported that the executions of Myanmar citizens including pro-democracy activists were carried out according to the relevant department, despite the strong calls against it from the international community including Japan and Cambodia, the Chair of ASEAN, to the Myanmar military. Japan seriously deplores these actions by the Myanmar military, as they completely go against the “release of the detainees” which Japan has consistently called for, and also lead to deeper conflict due to the hardening of public sentiment and further isolation of Myanmar from the international community. Japan expresses its deepest condolences to the families of all those who have lost their lives after the coup.

We have sent a notification to Myanmar regarding the state funeral for former Prime Minister Abe. The specific attendees will be coordinated going forward. I would like to refrain from giving any further answers.

Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI)-Related Meeting

Chugoku Shimbun, Higuchi: In relation to the NPT, which was mentioned earlier, there is the NPDI framework created by non-nuclear weapon states. There are reports that a foreign ministers’ meeting for this is being coordinated and I believe this has been confirmed. There are also some reports that Prime Minister Kishida will attend the NPDI meeting before the NPT Review Conference. Please tell us what the Government of Japan has currently decided regarding the response to the NPDI.

Minister Hayashi: If various circumstances permit, Prime Minister Kishida plans to attend the NPT Review Conference. However, specific schedule during his visit to New York is currently being coordinated.

Furthermore, nothing has been decided at this point regarding the NPDI-related meeting.

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