Press Conference by Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu
Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 11:21 a.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
Pan Orient News, AZHARI: I am asking about the nuclear ban treaty that Japan said it is not going to ratify. Please elaborate on Japan's position on that. Especially in the Middle East, there is a real threat of nuclear weapons, so how can the countries take lead from Japan which is the only country in the world that was hit by atomic weapons, and has a moral authority to lead the world to get rid of the weapons? How could Japan activate the movement to eliminate these weapons?
Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs: As you stated, as Japan is the only country to have experienced the inhumanity of nuclear weapons by experiencing atomic bombing during war, we have the responsibility to take the lead in efforts by the international community to realize a world free of nuclear weapons. This is Japan’s firm policy. We share the goal of abolition of nuclear weapons which is the aim of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
On the other hand, it is essential to promote nuclear disarmament involving nuclear-weapon states to realize a world free of nuclear weapons, but currently support has not been received from nuclear-weapon states including the United States. Furthermore, support has not been received from many non-nuclear weapon states including various NATO countries such as Canada and Germany.
As is also true for the Middle East, the security environment surrounding Japan grows increasingly severe, in which I believe it is appropriate to seek a path that advances nuclear disarmament steadily and practically while appropriately dealing with real security threats, including maintaining and strengthening deterrence.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Goal
Nikkei Shimbun, KATO: In his policy speech yesterday, Prime Minister Suga stated that Japan would aim for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. He also conveyed this earlier by telephone to Secretary-General Guterres of the United Nations. This is a theme of high interest in the international community, so how will MOFA and the rest of the Government of Japan communicate about this to the international community going forward?
Minister MOTEGI: In his policy speech yesterday, Prime Minister Suga clearly announced the goal of aiming to realize a carbon-neutral society by achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Many international organizations and countries have welcomed and highly appreciated this.
A telephone talk was held today between Prime Minister Suga and Secretary-General Guterres at Secretary-General Guterres’ request. He sincerely welcomed, highly appreciated, and completely supported the resolute determination shown in Prime Minister Suga’s speech yesterday, and expressed his reassurance and gratitude for Japan’s leadership.
In addition to this, myriad others have welcomed the recent announcement, such as Chile which held the COP25 Presidency in 2019, the United Kingdom which will hold the COP26 Presidency in 2021, the EU, and China.
Japan will accelerate the virtuous cycle of environment and growth through innovations toward COP26, and continue to lead the international community to realize a carbon-neutral society as aimed for by the Paris Agreement.
Amidst the novel coronavirus crisis now, Europe is using the phrase “green recovery.” I believe that how to utilize technologies of digital transformation (DX) and green recovery have likely become important to increase Japan’s potential growth rate going forward. Global environmental issues are truly extremely important for implementing the SDGs. Japan will firmly lead such international initiatives.