Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu
Wednesday, January 27, 2021, 8:31 a.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I just held a Foreign Ministers’ Telephone Talk with Secretary of State Blinken. He was confirmed by the Senate six hours earlier. Following Canada, my Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with him was the second that he held. I believe that this is a sign that the Biden administration as well as Secretary of State Blinken place importance on the Japan-U.S. Alliance, and clearly shows their commitment to the Indo-Pacific region.
Secretary of State Blinken and I confirmed that Japan and the United States will further strengthen the Japan-U.S. Alliance. Also, we confirmed to realize a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” and to closely cooperate and collaborate on issues that the international community faces including novel coronavirus countermeasures and climate change.
In addition, amidst the extremely severe security environment surrounding East Asia, I mentioned my appreciation for the clear indication by the Biden administration of its position that includes applying Article 5 of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan for the Senkaku Islands. In response, Secretary of State Blinken stated that there is no change to that position.
Furthermore, we held an exchange of views regarding regional issues, including the East China Sea, the South China Sea, and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Moreover, we agreed on strengthening the solidarity of the G7 going forward.
Also, in regard to Host Nation Support (HNS), we discussed that we would like to accelerate discussions to be able to swiftly achieve an agreement.
My telephone talk with Secretary of State Blinken was just under 30 minutes, as time was limited due to the Diet session today. We concluded by agreeing that we should spend time holding discussions in person, thus we will coordinate so that I can visit Washington D.C. at an early timing.
In regard to North Korea and the abductions issue, I received understanding and support from the United States toward an early resolution of the issue.