Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary ONO Hikariko
Wednesday, October 12, 2022, 3:45 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Situation in Iran (Protest Movement Due to the Death of Ms. Mahsa Amini)
Asahi Shimbun, Aibara: I would like to ask about the incident in Iran. An incident occurred in Iran in which a 22-year-old woman suddenly died after being arrested over how she wore her hijab. This has invoked a global response. Foreign Minister Joly of Canada, who visited Japan yesterday, stated, “We are supporting you all.” The Government of Japan and Foreign Minister Hayashi in particular did not say anything about this incident at that time. What is the view of the Government of Japan on the incident of the death of the woman in Iran, which is evoking a considerable reaction around the world?
Ms. ONO Hikariko, Press Secretary: The Government of Japan is monitoring with concern regarding the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran during the protest movement triggered by the death of Ms. Mahsa Amini.
We expect that the situation will be resolved in a peaceful manner.
From this perspective, Foreign Minister Hayashi and Foreign Minister Joly exchanged views on this matter during the Japan-Canada Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held yesterday. I would like to refrain from going into further details as this involves diplomatic communication.
Situation in Ukraine (Crimea Bridge Explosion)
Kyodo News, Kinashi: I would like to ask about the situation in Ukraine. The Russian side claimed that the Crimea Bridge explosion on October 8 was an act of terrorism by Ukraine, and begun attacks on various parts of the country. The Ukrainian side has pointed out that it may have been an act of self-sabotage by Russia. What is the Government of Japan’s perception of the Crimea Bridge explosion?
Press Secretary Ono: As you pointed out, we are aware that, Russia has stated that the Crimea Bridge explosion was an act of terrorism arranged by the Ukrainian authorities, but Ukraine has not announced that it was responsible for the attack.
I would like to refrain from answering about this matter based on speculation. We will continue to monitor the situation while cooperating with relevant countries.
Designation of a Consul of the Consulate-General of Russia in Sapporo as Persona Non Grata
Yomiuri Shimbun, Kaneko: Recently, the Government of Japan designated a consul of the Consulate-General of Russia in Sapporo as persona non grata and demanded that the consul leave Japan by October 10. Please tell us whether he has departed Japan since then, and when he left if he did.
Press Secretary Ono: The consul of the Consulate-General of Russia in Sapporo, who was notified a persona non grata by Japan on October 4, left Japan on October 10.
I would like to refrain from going into further details, including the identity of the person.
Past Examples of Personae Non Gratae
NTV, Mori: In relation to the persona non grata, please tell us about past examples of the Government of Japan declaring persona non grata, as well as cases of Japan receiving such declarations.
Press Secretary Ono: There are three past cases of Japan declaring personnel from embassies in Japan to be personae non gratae: a first secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea (ROK) in Japan in 1973, an attaché of the Embassy of Côte d'Ivoire in Japan in 2006, and the Ambassador of Syria to Japan in 2012.
We are aware of two confirmed examples of Japanese overseas personnel being declared personae non gratae since the end of World War II: the declaration for the Ambassador of Japan to Syria in June 2012, and the declaration this time for the consular officer of the Consulate-General of Japan in Vladivostok.
Decision by OPEC+ to Decrease Production
Jiji Press, Kondo: I would like to ask about the OPEC+ decision last week to significantly decrease production. What is the Government of Japan’s approach for the stable supply of energy? The United States has pointed out that this decision was in cooperation with Russia, and the White House made an announcement to review its relations with Saudi Arabia. What is the Government of Japan’s stance on its relations with Russia and Saudi Arabia?
Press Secretary Ono: As for the communication between the United States and Saudi Arabia I would like to refrain from making any statement today, as it is communication between third-party countries.
Furthermore, we are closely monitoring the movement by OPEC+, as it is a very important move for Japan’s energy security. There is absolutely nothing I can say at this point in my capacity as Press Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Japan’s Support for Ukraine
Yomiuri Shimbun, Kaneko: In relation to Ukraine, the missile attacks have become intense again. Please tell us if the Government of Japan intends to expand its support for Ukraine.
Press Secretary Ono:So far, Japan has announced approximately $1.1 billion in humanitarian, financing, and food-related support for Ukraine as well as relevant neighboring countries and others that have been affected. We are sequentially implementing support, including support for winter preparedness, as the harsh winter sets in.
Japan will continue to play an active role in humanitarian and recovery assistance while cooperating with the G7 countries and others.
During yesterday’s G7 Leaders’ Video Conference attended by Prime Minister Kishida, the leaders confirmed that the G7 will maintain its solidarity to ensure the democratic, prosperous future of Ukraine. Japan will continue to closely cooperate with the international community, including the G7, and again strongly urge that Russia immediately stop its aggression. We will also continue our policy to firmly address this issue under the two pillars of implementing strong sanctions against Russia and supporting Ukraine.