Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary ONO Hikariko

Wednesday, February 8, 2023, 3:46 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

Opening Remarks

100 Days Until the G7 Hiroshima Summit

Ms. ONO Hikariko, Press Secretary: I have one announcement to make.

Today, February 8, marks 100 days before the G7 Hiroshima Summit. The G7 Hiroshima Summit, to be held from May 19 to 21, is one of the most important diplomatic events of the year for Japan. The G7 leaders will gather in Hiroshima to discuss important matters of the international community for three days.

Prime Minister Kishida chose Hiroshima as the Summit location due to his view that Hiroshima is the most fitting location to express Japan’s commitment to peace. It has significant implications that the leaders of the G7 will gather for discussions in Hiroshima, a city which has recovered from the catastrophic damage by an atomic bomb, and which continues to seek lasting world peace.

In the G7 Hiroshima Summit, we would like to firmly show the world the G7’s strong determination to resolutely reject unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force and threats of nuclear weapons as Russia has done, as well as to uphold the international order based on the rule of law.

The G7 will also lead the responses to the global economy including energy and food security, regional affairs including Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and economic security, as well as global issues such as climate change, health, and development.

MOFA will also accelerate preparations towards the success of the Summit while cooperating even more closely with the relevant ministries and agencies as well as people in the region, including the Citizens Council. That is all from me.

Status of Preparations for the G7 Hiroshima Summit

Chugoku Shimbun, Higuchi: I would like to ask about the Hiroshima Summit that you just mentioned. There are 100 days left until the Summit, so could you please tell us again the current status of preparations? I would like you to tell us about the status of preparations mainly for logistics-related matters such as the itineraries of the G7 leaders, and with relation to nuclear disarmament, which will be one of the themes as Prime Minister Kishida also mentioned. Furthermore, there is a request to hold a meeting between local atomic bomb survivors and the G7 leaders. Please tell us the current situation for that.

Press Secretary Ono: With regard to the G7 Hiroshima Summit, MOFA has already established the Secretariat for the G7 Hiroshima Summit, and the entire ministry is working on preparations.

As you can see, we put this banner today. Today marks 100 days until the Summit. MOFA will continue to make every effort for the preparations towards the G7 Hiroshima Summit and the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Karuizawa, Nagano.

In addition, from the perspective of PR, it is our policy to develop strategic PR, including promotion of the charms of Japan, while utilizing the G7 Hiroshima Summit logo.

With regard to the discussion topic you mentioned, topics are chosen based on discussion with the member countries. As I mentioned earlier, Japan’s position as the G7 President is, given the fact that the international community is currently at a historic turning point, that the central concept will firstly be for the G7 Hiroshima Summit to firmly show the world the G7’s strong determination to resolutely reject unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force and threats of nuclear weapons as Russia has done, as well as to uphold the international order based on the rule of law.

Additionally, as I stated earlier, In-depth discussions are expected to take place regarding the world economy, including energy and food security, as well as global issues such as Ukraine, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, economic security, climate change, health, and development.

Furthermore, with regard to the specific schedule, the Government of Japan believes that it is extremely important to firmly convey the reality of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima as the starting point for initiatives towards nuclear disarmament.

We believe it is very important for the G7 leaders to demonstrate to the world, from Hiroshima, their strong commitment to never allow a recurrence of the devastation of nuclear weapons and resolutely reject military invasions.

On the other hand, we are currently discussing the specific schedule from various perspectives, and nothing has been decided.

Japan’s Response as the G7 President as One Year Has Passed Since Russia’s aggression against Ukraine

Asahi Shimbun, Takasaki: It will soon be one year since the start of the invasion of Ukraine. As the G7 President, what kind of response is Japan considering, such as holding summit meetings or foreign ministers’ meetings? In addition, what message does Japan want to send?

Press Secretary Ono: Russia’s aggression against Ukraine undermines the very foundation of the international order that the international community has built up over a long period of hard work and many sacrifices. We believe that it is necessary for the international community, including the G7, to unite to respond with resolute determination in order to protect the world order.

The G7 has united to respond to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine through now. As the G7 President, Japan will ensure even more cooperation withthe international community, including the G7, and continue our policy of resolutely promoting sanctions against Russia and support for Ukraine.

Furthermore, as for the various meetings you just pointed out, nothing has been decided at this point.

Restriction Measures for Entry into Japan from China

NTV, Mori: I would like to ask about Japan’s border measures. In relation to Japan’s border measures for China, some reports have come out that the COVID-19 tests, such as PCR tests, for all people entering Japan from China will be replaced with targeted sampling testing. Please tell us the outlook regarding border measures for China in future.

Press Secretary Ono: I am aware of the reports that you pointed out. However, I would like to refrain from commenting on each and every report.

With regard to Japan’s temporary border measures, our policy is to flexibly respond while implementing the current measures for the time being and observing the infection conditions in China.

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