Press Conferences

Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister KAMIKAWA Yoko

Wednesday, December 20, 2023, 10:05 a.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

Opening Remarks

Ms. KAMIKAWA Yoko, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I would like to announce the results of the ministerial negotiations for our fiscal year 2024 initial budget. As a result of the negotiations I just held with the Minister of Finance, two budgetary provisions that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) places importance on have been approved.

First, in view of the increasingly severe international situation, a budget of approximately 7.5 billion yen has been approved for enhancing the resilience of our diplomatic missions overseas. This is to allow the missions to take all possible measures for responding to contingencies, protecting Japanese nationals, ensuring information security, among other needs.

Second, a budget of approximately 27.6 billion yen has been approved for fundamentally reinforcing our information capabilities, both by building an information security infrastructure and centralizing management and utilization of information assets.

Using these budgets, in this period of a turning point in history, we will strengthen the foundation for our diplomatic activities, and further advance proactive Japanese diplomacy.

That is all from me.

Question-and-Answer Session

Reporter: You stated that budgets have been approved for enhancing the resilience of diplomatic missions overseas and fundamentally reinforcing information capabilities. Could you please elaborate?

Minister Kamikawa: Firstly, regarding enhancing the resilience of our diplomatic missions overseas, we consider the facilities of our missions to be the last stronghold for protecting staff and Japanese nationals overseas. They also serve as bases of activities during contingencies, including Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the armed conflict in Sudan, and natural disasters, and are irreplaceable facilities for staff and Japanese nationals overseas.

In recent years, as the international situation becomes increasingly severe, the importance of responding to new threats has grown rapidly. These responses include the building of resilient defense infrastructure, such as the establishment of evacuation facilities in preparation for sudden conflicts and terror attacks, and other events, as well as information security measures against cyber attacks and eavesdropping.

Under these circumstances, the reality is approximately 60% of state-owned facilities are over 31 years old, while they are generally considered to require large-scale renovations, and are aging quickly. MOFA intends to implement necessary measures with urgency to ensure the safety and security of Japanese nationals overseas and others.

Next is on the fundamental reinforcement of information capabilities. As rivalries between states intensify, their competition is expanding beyond the scope of traditional military capabilities to information warfare in the cognitive domain, including the spread of disinformation and the like. In order to address this situation, we need to strengthen our information gathering, analysis and dissemination capabilities in an integrated manner.

To strengthen our information capabilities, which serve as the foundation of our diplomatic capabilities, it is necessary to build a more robust information security infrastructure. We would like to allocate a sufficient budget for enhancing our capabilities in response to threats in the information space, including cyber attacks and disinformation attacks, and promoting centralized management and utilization of information assets.

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