Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa
Friday, July 29, 2022, 5:14 p.m. Washington, D.C.
Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I am visiting Washington, D.C. for the first time since assuming office as Minister for Foreign Affairs in November 2021. As the international community stands at a historic crossroads, I believe it is necessary to protect the free and open international order based on the “rule of law,” ensure the peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region which is strategically most important to Japan and the United States, and further strengthen cooperation with allies and like-minded countries. Under this shared recognition, I have held frank and significant exchanges of views with Secretary of State Blinken and other U.S. government officials, and affirmed the direction in various fields in which Japan and the U.S. should deal with the main issues facing the international community. Firstly, this morning, I attended the first meeting of the Japan-U.S. Economic Policy Consultative Committee Meeting (the Economic “2+2”). The details are as stated at the joint press conference. In light of current international affairs, it is essential that diplomacy, security, and the economy are discussed as a whole from strategic perspective. The Economic “2+2” responds to such demand. We concurred to hold the Economic “2+2” periodically. Through the Economic “2+2” this time, I believe we were able to strongly convey the adaptability of the Japan-U.S. Alliance and the determination of our two countries to lead international cooperation in these fields.
I also had a Japan-U.S. Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in the form of a working lunch for 55 minutes with Secretary Blinken. This was my 11th bilateral meeting with Secretary Blinken, including our telephone talks. Today, we held extensive exchanges of views regarding security, regional affairs, the economy, and other such matters based on our discussions thus far and President Biden’s visit to Japan in May.
Regarding security, we reaffirmed expansion and promotion of Japan-U.S. security and defense cooperation, and further strengthening of the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance. Additionally, we welcomed the holding of the recent Japan-U.S. Extended Deterrence Dialogue, and concurred to continue close communication at various levels from the perspective to ensure continued credibility and resilience of U.S. extended deterrence.
In addition, from the perspective of reducing the burden on local communities, including in Okinawa, we concurred to steadily promote realignment of the U.S. Forces in Japan.
With regard to regional affairs, in addition to various matters surrounding the situations in Russia and Ukraine, China, and North Korea, we particularly discussed the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the Indo-Pacific region. We concurred to further strengthen cooperation of allies and like-minded countries to not permit unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force in the Indo-Pacific region. We also affirmed that there is no change in our countries’ basic positions on Taiwan. We re-emphasized the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, which is an indispensable element for the security and prosperity of the international community, and concurred to urge for a peaceful resolution of the cross-Strait issues.
Regarding the economy, we shared the recognition that U.S. engagement in the economic order of the Indo-Pacific region is becoming increasingly important. In addition, I again urged the U.S. to return to the TPP as soon as possible in conjunction with support for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). Furthermore, during my visit, I attended dinner with members of the U.S. Congress, gave a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), met with Mansfield Fellows and alumni, and visited Arlington National Cemetery. Although it was a short period of time, I believe this has been a very fruitful visit, including the dinner with U.S. experts on diplomacy and security scheduled later in the day.
At a time when we face diplomatic issues that are piled up, true value of the Japan-U.S. Alliance is important. Based on the results of President Biden’s visit to Japan in May as well as my visit to the United States this time, I have renewed my determination to further strengthen the Japan-U.S. Alliance, which is the foundation of the peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region, and continue to closely cooperate. That is all from me.
Reporter: You just mentioned Taiwan. I believe that you discussed semiconductors and supply chains during the Economic “2+2.” How does Japan want to cooperate with Taiwan in terms of semiconductors and securing supply chains?
Minister Hayashi: Yes, during the Economic “2+2” today, we held extensive discussions on various international issues spanning diplomacy, security, and the economy. Through these discussions, I believe Japan and the U.S. demonstrated the determination to show leadership and take serious approach to these issues while calling on like-minded countries. In terms of economic security, with the emergence of innovative technologies such as AI and quantum technology, new matters that complement economic security and the economy are now recognized as economic security, which is an important matter for national security. As Japan formulates the new National Security Strategy, the Government will position economic security as an important matter and discuss it firmly. We have not had any specific discussions regarding Taiwan in particular.
Reporter: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a matter of discussion during your bilateral meeting with Secretary Blinken. What did you discuss with him regarding Russia’s strike on Ukraine immediately following the recent agreement on grain exports, and the global food crisis caused by Russia’s invasion?
Minister Hayashi: Firstly, regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, today we reaffirmed that we will continue to unite with the international community, including the G7, to implement strong sanctions on Russia and to provide support to Ukraine. In addition, with the situation surrounding energy and food deteriorating significantly due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we concurred to respond closely together with the G7 and international organizations to secure energy and food supplies, stabilize prices, and support vulnerable countries.