Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary KOBAYASHI Maki

Wednesday, May 22, 2024, 4:00 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

Discourse on Ukraine Loan “Take-Over”

Yomiuri Shimbun, Oyabu: I would like to ask about support to Ukraine. There are some videos and other sources indicating that, during Prime Minister Kishida’s meeting with U.S. Senate and House leadership on his official visit to the U.S. last month, the Prime Minister promised that Japan would “take over” the U.S. loan for Ukraine. Some members of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan have also raised issues. Can you please clarify the facts?

Ms. KOBAYASHI Maki, Press Secretary: First, the sort of discussion you alluded to did not take place, and Japan will not “take over” any loan as was mentioned in your question.

That being said, on April 24, the U.S. passed a budget legislation which includes additional support to Ukraine, and the Government of the U.S. will be providing further support to Ukraine based on this budget. The Government of Japan welcomes this.

In the process of passing the budget, including the Senate’s deliberation of the budget legislation, several members referred to Prime Minister Kishida’s address to the U.S. Congress. In his address, Prime Minister Kishida referred to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and emphasized that the leadership of the U.S. was indispensable. I believe this message got through to the members of the U.S. Congress.

In any case, as I stated at the beginning, the Government of Japan was not involved in the passage of the budget legislation in any way, including a “take-over” of the loan.

Passage of the European Union (EU) AI Act

Kyodo News, Hayashi: The EU has approved the world’s first comprehensive regulatory legislation on AI, and it has passed into law. I imagine it will have various impacts, and it may affect the activities of Japanese companies. What are your thoughts on the law at this time?

Press Secretary Kobayashi: We are aware that the EU Council approved the EU’s AI Act yesterday, the 21st.

This law aims to ensure that fundamental human rights and the EU’s values are respected in the development and use of AI, and to stimulate investment and innovation on AI. Its main feature, as we understand it, is that the requirements and regulations that AI must meet are stipulated according to their risk.

The law will apply to businesses that provide and use the services of AI systems across the EU. Taking also into account Japanese companies’ interest in this matter, we will continue to closely follow the developments surrounding this law, which will undergo the necessary procedures and enter into force, two years after which most provisions will begin to apply.

Ishigaki City Mayor Nakayama’s X Post on Taiwan

Ryukyu Shimpo, Akira: Mayor Nakayama of Ishigaki City in Okinawa posted on his own social media account that “Taiwan is a state recognized by the world.” What is the position of the Government of Japan? If the Government will be taking any responses, please share them as well.

Press Secretary Kobayashi: We are aware of the post you referred to. However, the Government would like to refrain from commenting on the individual words and deeds of a local government mayor.

In any case, Japan’s basic position concerning Taiwan is that we will maintain a working relationship with Taiwan on the non-governmental basis, based on the 1972 Japan-China Joint Communique.

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