Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu
Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 7:13 p.m. Iikura Guest House
Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs: For about two hours so far, we have been holding the Second Japan-Australia-India-U.S. Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. We have covered most of the topics. The four of us actually wanted to finish all of the topics before dinner, but as some remain we will discuss them over the working dinner after this.
This was the first ministerial-level international conference held in Japan since the outbreak and spread of COVID-19. We were able to hold face-to-face in-depth discussions regarding the response to various challenges which have come to the fore with the outbreak and spread of COVID-19, tangible implementation of the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” vision, and regional affairs.
I underscored it was important that the four countries of Japan, Australia, India, and the United States broaden cooperation with more countries for the realization of the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” vision, and obtained the support of the other Ministers. Never before has a foreign policy concept advocated by Japan been embraced by the international community to this extent. Based on today’s discussions, Japan intends to advance further tangible cooperation.
With regard to concrete cooperation among the four countries, we affirmed the further development of practical cooperation in various areas, for example, quality infrastructure, maritime security, and cyber. We also exchanged views on regional affairs, including North Korea as well as East and South China Seas. We shared the view that North Korea’s nuclear program and missiles are a serious issue. I stated that the early resolution of the abductions issue remains a top priority of the Suga Cabinet and obtained the understanding and cooperation of the three countries.
After this, we will continue our discussions over the working dinner regarding the way forward of the framework of Japan, Australia, India, and the United States. We will regularize this Foreign Ministers’ meeting, hold it once a year, and hold the next one at an appropriate timing next year.
Amidst the restrictions on face-to-face diplomatic activities due to COVID-19, it was extremely meaningful that the heads of foreign policy of the four countries were able to hold face-to-face extensive discussions in Tokyo today.
As I am keeping the three Ministers waiting for dinner, I would like to answer your questions briefly if you have any and then join the Ministers for dinner.