Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary ONO Hikariko
Wednesday, December 7, 2022, 3:46 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Situation in Ukraine (Drone Attacks on Bases in Central Russia)
Kyodo News, Kinashi: I would like to ask about the situation in Ukraine. On December 5, the Ministry of Defence of Russia announced that two of its military bases in Russia were attacked by drones. Some view that the attacks were carried out by Ukraine, and there are concerns that the fighting may intensify further. Please tell us the view and reaction of the Government of Japan.
Ms. ONO Hikariko, Press Secretary: We are aware that on December 5, the Ministry of Defence of Russia announced that the Government of Ukraine attempted to use drones to bomb two military airfields in Russia, and that in response, the Russian side had conducted a large-scale missile attack on Ukrainian command systems and related defense, communications, and energy facilities.
I would like to refrain from answering on behalf of the Government of Japan about the facts of the matter. Japan will continue to monitor the situation.
In any case, Japan takes it extremely seriously that many civilians have been killed in various areas of Ukraine by Russia’s attacks. Attacks on civilians and civilian facilities are a blatant violation of international humanitarian law, and cannot be justified.
Japan again strongly condemns this.
Mainichi Shimbun, Aoki: On December 6 local time, the U.S.-Australia “2+2” was held in Washington, D.C. in the United States. During the meeting, the ministers agreed to seek the expansion of participation in U.S.-Australia military exercises to include the Japan Self-Defense Forces. Please tell us the Government of Japan’s assessment of this decision and discussion, and how the Government will respond.
Press Secretary Ono: Japan, the United States, and Australia have been promoting security and defense cooperation for regional peace and stability. In the Japan-Australia Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation in October this year, Japan and Australia have already recognized that deepening trilateral cooperation is essential, as our respective alliances with the United States are critical pillars for our security, as well as for the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific.
From this perspective, Japan welcomes its agreement to strengthen trilateral cooperation at the recent U.S.-Australia “2+2.”
We would like to confirm active promotion of Japan-Australia and Japan-U.S.-Australia cooperation during the Japan-Australia “2+2” that is scheduled to be held this week on December 9.
Tokyo-Beijing Forum (Video Message by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China)
Asahi Shimbun, Takahashi: I would like to ask about the Japan-China Forum that took place this morning. Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China gave a video message, in which he claimed that the issues of Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Taiwan are part of China’s domestic affairs, and Japan should not interfere. Please share with us the Government of Japan’s view on this.
Press Secretary Ono: I would like to refrain from commenting on every single statement by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China.
If I were to say anything further, it would be that Japan-China relations have various forms of potential, but also face many challenges and pending issues.
Japan will continue to communicate closely with China, including at the summit and foreign minister level. We will state what should be stated and request China to take responsible actions, while promoting efforts by both sides to build constructive, stable Japan-China relations in which both sides firmly engage in dialogue, including on various pending issues, and cooperate on various common issues.
This is Japan’s unwavering position.