Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa

Friday, November 25, 2022, 12:30 p.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.

Possibility of Nuclear Test by North Korea

NHK, Iwasawa: I would like to ask about additional sanctions against North Korea. On November 22, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea (ROK) announced that it was considering imposing its own additional sanctions in the case of serious provocation by North Korea, such as a nuclear test. North Korea has opposed such speculations, but if North Korea conducts a seventh nuclear test, will the Government of Japan impose additional sanctions? Could you tell us what is being considered regarding this matter?

Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I am aware of the point you have mentioned. The Government of Japan gathers necessary information and analyzes military movements by North Korea on a daily basis. We believe that there is a possibility that North Korea will conduct further provocative actions, including a nuclear test. However, I would like to refrain from answering the speculative question.

In any case, the Government of Japan will continue to cooperate closely with the international community, including the United States and the ROK, and aim for the complete denuclearization of North Korea.

Japan-ROK Relations (Issue of Former Civilian Workers from the Korean Peninsula)

Kyodo News, Ueda: I would like to ask about Japan-ROK relations. Yesterday, the Japan-ROK Director-General Level Talk was held between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries to discuss the issue of former civilian workers from the Korean Peninsula, aiming to seek early resolution of the issue. There have been reports that during the Talk, it came down to one or two resolutions. Please clarify where you are with the discussion and the future outlook.

Minister Hayashi: At the recent Japan-ROK Summit Meeting, the two leaders reaffirmed to pursue an early resolution of this issue between the two countries. Following the Summit Meeting, I am aware that the participants of yesterday’s Director-General Level Talk had a candid exchange of views on overall Japan-ROK relations, including the issue of former civilian workers from the Korean Peninsula.

The ROK is an important neighbouring country with which Japan should cooperate in response to various issues of the international community. Based on the foundation of friendly and cooperative relations built since the normalization of our diplomatic relations, we intend to closely communicate with the Government of the ROK to restore and further develop healthy Japan-ROK relations.

Revision of the Development Cooperation Charter

Jiji Press, Tanaka: I would like to ask about the revision of the Development Cooperation Charter. At the recent Advisory Panel, it was decided to compile their report by the end of this year. It will include strategic implementation of ODA based on the security environment and the expansion of the budget, which will serve as the basis for the implementation. Please tell us MOFA’s response to this matter going forward.

Minister Hayashi: The Advisory Panel on the revision of the Development Cooperation Charter has had four meetings so far to discuss a wide range of issues on the forms and ways of implementing international cooperation in line with the times, such as the strengthening of the strategic aspects of ODA and the expansion of the ODA budget.

From now on, the Advisory Panel will prepare a report under Professor NAKANISHI Hiroshi, Chairperson of the Panel. Based on the contents of the report, the Government of Japan will prepare the outline of a new Charter by the end of this year.

We will then formulate a new Development Cooperation Charter during the first half of next year, while exchanging views with civil society and the business communities, as well as listening to the voices of a wide range of stakeholders.

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 (Human Rights Issues)

Radio France, Nishimura: I would like to ask about Qatar. Concerning the working and living environments of migrant workers at the construction site of the football stadium for the World Cup, foreign media, and NGOs, mainly in the western nations, have pointed out a number of issues including human rights violations. Please tell us the stance of the Government of Japan to such situations in Qatar and reports.

Minister Hayashi: I am aware of the various views expressed by international human rights organizations and groups.

On the other hand, I understand that the Government of Qatar has been working on labor reforms in recent years. Japan expects that the Government of Qatar will continue to implement these initiatives.

Personnel Affairs Regarding the Japanese Ambassador to the Swiss Confederation

Kyodo News, Ueda: I would like to ask about the personnel affairs at MOFA. Today, MOFA announced the resignation of Mr. SHIRAISHI Kojiro, Ambassador extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Swiss Confederation. At the time of his appointment, there were concerns about the closeness between the media and the administration, as it was unusual to appoint an incumbent head of a media organization as an Ambassador of Japan. Please tell us the reason for his resignation and the evaluation during his tenure.

Minister Hayashi: I would like to refrain from answering the individual personnel matter mentioned. In any case, personnel affairs are conducted by placing the right person in the right position, based on the person’s personality and insight. Therefore, I believe that the personnel affairs that you pointed out must have been decided based on the same idea.

Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution

Jiji Press, Tanaka: I would like to ask about the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution such as Gunkanjima. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) pointed out that the exhibition information on the civilian workers from the Korean Peninsula is inadequate and requested Japan to submit a conservation status report to UNESCO by December. Please tell us the status of Japan’s response to this matter.

Minister Hayashi: Japan has always taken the World Heritage Committee’s resolutions seriously and responded to them sincerely.

Based on the resolution adopted at the World Heritage Committee in July 2021, the conservation status report on “Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution,” is to be submitted to UNESCO by December 1, 2022. The Cabinet Secretariat is currently working to fulfil the request.

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