Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa
Friday, December 9, 2022, 11:47 a.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(1) Foreign Minister Hayashi to Visit Miyagi and Yamagata Prefectures (“Local to Global” Project)
Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I have two announcements at the outset. On December 11, I am scheduled to visit Miyagi Prefecture and Yamagata Prefecture for the second phase of the “Local to Global” Project, which is aimed to promote the attractiveness of regional areas of Japan worldwide. During this visit, I will be accompanied by Mr. TAKEI Shunsuke, State Minister for Foreign Affairs.
In Miyagi Prefecture, where the G7 Science and Technology Ministers’ Meeting will be held in May 2023, I would like to exchange views with the local government and the local business community on the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake and the promotion of Miyagi’s attractions.
In Yamagata Prefecture, where the Yamagata Youth Summit 2022 was held and global talent was eagerly nurtured, I will hold a roundtable dialogue regarding Japan’s diplomacy and the promotion of the attractions of Yamagata with people including youth based in Yamagata who are active in contributing to a wide range of fields.
(2) The Advisory Panel on the revision of the Development Cooperation Charter (Submission of a Report)
Minister Hayashi: For my other announcement, toward the formulation of a new Development Cooperation Charter, I established the Advisory Panel on the revision of the Development Cooperation Charter with Professor NAKANISHI Hiroshi from the Graduate School of Law, Kyoto University, who is appointed as the Chairperson of the Panel. So far, the Panel has had four meetings from September to November. Today, I received a report from Chair Nakanishi compiling the discussions of Panel meetings.
Amidst the increasingly severe international environment surrounding Japan, diplomacy and defense are the foundation of a nation. It is indispensable to develop not only defense capabilities but also powerful diplomacy in order to ensure Japan’s peace and prosperity, while meeting the expectations and trust of the international community.
As the next G7 Presidency, Japan must strengthen its diplomacy to actively address a mountain of diplomatic challenges. In this context, we have received robust proposals on how development cooperation should be strategically utilized and how its implementation foundation, including the expansion of ODA, should be addressed.
Based on the contents of the report, we will formulate a new Development Cooperation Charter during the next year. Further details of the report will be covered during the press release after this.
That is all from me.
China’s Border Measures to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
NHK, Iwasawa: I would like to ask about China’s border measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. China has eased its countermeasures against the spread of COVID-19 and no longer requires people in the country to present negative PCR test certificates, which had been mandatory in many places. However, the Chinese authorities continue to impose various border measures, including hotel quarantine measures for those entering the country. The Government of Japan has stated that it is necessary to resume people-to-people exchanges between Japan and China. I would like to know how you evaluate these recent responses by China.
Minister Hayashi: The Government of China has been coordinating domestic infection control measures concerning COVID-19, including the notice on December 7 on the further optimization and implementation of infection control measures. In this process, I believe that no announcement has been made regarding changes to China’s border measures.
At the recent Japan-China Summit Meeting, which I also attended, the two leaders agreed to revitalize the bilateral exchanges of people, including the youth who will lead the future of the two countries.
The Government of Japan will continue to follow, with strong concern, the development of any impact of infection control measures, including the recent notice and the border measures in China, on the Chinese economy, citizens’ activities, and exchanges between the private sectors of Japan and China.
Remarks by Mr. Kong Xuanyou, Ambassador of China to Japan, at the Tokyo-Beijing Forum
Yomiuri Shimbun, Abe: I would like to ask about some remarks by the Ambassador of China to Japan. Yesterday, at the Tokyo-Beijing Forum, hosted by a private organization, Mr. Kong Xuanyou, Ambassador of China to Japan, referred to Japan’s national security strategy and the phenomenon that some people were publicly calling China as a “challenge” or “threat.” Ambassador Kong stated that he would like to express his serious concern over such a phenomenon. Please tell us your view on this.
Minister Hayashi: I am aware of the remarks that you mentioned, but I would like to refrain from commenting on each of these remarks.
In any case, details of the new national security strategy, which is planned to be formulated by the end of this year, are currently under review, and nothing has been decided yet.