Press Conferences

Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa

Friday, September 23, 2022, 11:45 a.m. New York

This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.

Opening Remarks

Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I attended the Japan-Australia-India-U.S. (Quad) Foreign Ministers' Meeting today. After that, I met with Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Xhaçka of Albania. I held candid discussions during the Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and we reaffirmed our strong commitment to realizing a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” and agreed to further promote practical cooperation to contribute to the region. The results of the discussion have been shared in the form of a “Joint Readout.” In addition, as part of Quad cooperation, the ministers signed the Guidelines for Quad Partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the Indo-Pacific related to disaster response in the Indo-Pacific region and issued the Statement on Ransomware.

I emphasized the importance of returning to the United Nations’ ideals and principles amidst the international wavers, and the importance of strongly opposing all unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force. I believe it was significant that I could strongly send a message to the world once again.

In addition, after this press conference, I plan to hold an exchange of views with Japanese personnel at UN agencies and attend the COVID-19 Global Action Plan (GAP) Foreign Ministerial Meeting. I plan to state the importance of maintaining efforts to wind down the pandemic, and that I will actively lead discussions to strengthen global health architecture towards the G7 Summit next year.

Today is the last day, so I would like to give my overall impressions of this visit. I have had a fruitful visit over the past five days, including attending eight multilateral meetings and 15 bilateral meetings, as well as accompanying Prime Minister Kishida to two summit meetings.

Overall, I felt that Japan and various countries have a sense of crisis about the current situation of the UN and UNSC as the UN faces a time of trial due to issues including Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. As I held exchanges of views with various countries, based on Prime Minister Kishida’s address at the General Debate, I focused on discussions on returning to the ideals and principles of the UN, strengthening the overall functions of the UN including the UNSC, recovering trust in the UN, and ensuring thorough implementation of the rule of law.

I believe that the response from each country was generally positive. The statement by the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Chair and the joint readout from the Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting affirmed the importance of strengthening the UN. I also reaffirmed promotion of UNSC reform with the G4 foreign ministers. Countries are still addressing the General Debate, but President Biden of the United States made an appeal more actively than ever before with regard to controlling the right of veto and promotion of UNSC reform. President Kőrösi of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly also made a very positive address, and many other countries called for strengthening of the UN, including reform, in their addresses.

In addition, I confirmed unity among like-minded countries, including G7 cooperation on the situation in Ukraine, promotion of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” and Quad cooperation to that end, and cooperation with Pacific Island countries. I also held candid exchanges of views regarding regional affairs including China and North Korea and communicated Japan’s active contributions towards resolving global issues.

Furthermore, Japan will enter the UNSC as a non-permanent member in January 2023. I confirmed cooperation with other non-permanent members, including Malta, Albania, Brazil, and India. I also went to the UNSC Chamber and met with a total of 15 countries, comprising the 10 current non-permanent members and the five countries that will become non-permanent members along with Japan from January.

Japan will hold the G7 Presidency next year. Based on the results of this visit, I will continue to conduct discussions with various countries in order to maintain and strengthen the world order based on the rule of law and to enhance the presence of Japan’s diplomacy.

That is all from me.

Question-and-Answer Session

Reporter: I would like to ask about the Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting that was just held. A statement on ransomware was issued this time, which I believe will deepen cooperation in the cyberspace. What are your thoughts on the significance of cyber cooperation by the Quad?

Minister Hayashi: During the Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in Melbourne in February 2022, the Quad foreign ministers agreed to deal with the expanding threat of ransomware. I believe that the statement issued this time reaffirms the Quad’s commitment in this field and promotes cooperation.

Reporter: I would like to ask about the UNSC reform. I believe that the High-Level Week this time focused considerably on UNSC reform. As you stated, President Biden of the United States stated his support for expanding the UNSC permanent and non-permanent members during his address at the General Debate. I believe that until now, the United States did not show such a strong commitment to UNSC reform. What is your assessment of this change in the U.S. stance on UNSC reform?

Minister Hayashi: During his address at the General Debate of the UNGA the day before yesterday, President Biden stated that the United States will uphold the UN Charter, control the use of the right of veto, and support the expansion of permanent and non-permanent members of the UNSC. During this time of trial for the UN, in which the world order is facing unprecedented challenges due to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, I would like to welcome the fact that the United States expressed such a position in order to restore trust in the UN and UNSC. The cooperation on UNSC reform was affirmed between Prime Minister Kishida and President Biden. In addition, UNGA President Kőrösi stated his willingness to promote UNSC reform in his address at the General Debate, and many other countries called for strengthening of the UN, including reform, in their addresses. On the other hand, the reality is that the positions of various countries differ greatly regarding UNSC reform, and it is also true that there has not been major progress so far. As Prime Minister Kishida stated during his address at the General Debate, Japan has continuously appealed for action towards UNSC reform. We will continue to make efforts to achieve progress at an early stage while communicating well with relevant countries, including African countries and the United States.

Reporter: I would like to ask about the Quad. It was decided that the next foreign ministers’ meeting will be held in India. India has traditionally continued omnidirectional foreign policy, and I believe that a theme of the Quad has been how to deepen relations with India. What are your thoughts on the significance of being able to hold the meeting in India?

Minister Hayashi: The Quad is an opportunity for the four countries to extensively conduct practical cooperation. In that sense, I believe it is extremely significant for the Quad to periodically hold meetings. Naturally, the four countries will each hold meetings, and India will be next in turn, so I would like to continue our discussions toward significant cooperation.

Reporter: I would like to ask a question in terms of a summary of this visit. You just spoke about the significance of the individual meetings. In addition to that, I believe that it was presumed that you would hold a foreign ministers’ meeting with China, so were you able to? If not, what circumstances prevent you from holding the meeting?

Minister Hayashi: During my visit to New York this time, I did not hold a foreign ministers’ meeting with China. I was not able to hold the meeting due to the scheduling of my overall schedule of this visit. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-China relations, and I believe it is necessary to build “constructive, stable Japan-China relations” through the efforts of both sides. Various dialogues are being held between Japan and China, and I would like to continue to hold dialogues.

Back to Press Conferences