Press Conferences

Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu

Tuesday, December 17, 2019, 3:15 p.m. Ministry of Finance

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

Opening Remarks

Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I returned to Japan landing at Haneda Airport a little while ago after attending the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting that was held until yesterday in Madrid, Spain. The Budget negotiations have just ended. After this, I will fly to Moscow in the evening for my meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov.

The Budget negotiations resulted in the approval of two budgetary provisions that MOFA places importance on.

The first is the expansion of ODA, including grant assistance and technical cooperation. It amounts to 2.5 billion yen for important measures including cooperation with the Pacific island countries toward realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific, strengthening maritime security capabilities, increasing people who are interested and well-versed in Japan on the global level, countermeasures against marine plastic litter, and promoting the SDGs.

The second amounts to about 200 million yen for expanding initiatives for Japan to lead rule-making in new fields such as space and cyberspace to advance the “rule of law” in the international community, and to strengthen responses to international trials.

Approval was granted for utilizing these budgetary provisions, so I would like to continue to firmly promote “diplomacy with both tolerance and strength.”

Question-and-Answer Session

Reporter: How would you like the ODA budget, which you raised as a priority item, to be utilized for Japan’s diplomacy?

Minister MOTEGI: As I stated earlier, I went to Sri Lanka right before Spain. There are very high hopes for assistance and support from Japan, and I believe that ODA is an extremely important field for strengthening connectivity and developing high-quality infrastructure. A sufficient budget was approved this time, and I would like to firmly advance the budget’s utilization.

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