Japan-Vatican Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
January 31, 2017
On January 31, commencing at 6:35 p.m. for approximately 50 minutes, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a Foreign Ministers' Meeting with H.E. Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See. The overview is as follows.
- At the beginning, Minister Kishida appreciated Secretary Gallagher's visit to Hiroshima before coming to Tokyo. Minister Kishida mentioned that Japan and the Vatican both placed emphasis on such issues as the pursuit of peace, the realization of a world without nuclear weapons, development and human rights, and stated that he would like to strengthen the cooperative relationship with the Vatican in efforts to find solutions to the issues common to all humankind, on the occasion of this year, the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Secretary Gallagher expressed his gratitude for being invited in this commemorative year, and stated that Hiroshima had left a deep impression on him.
- Minister Kishida stated that he strongly hoped His Holiness Pope Francis would visit Japan and pray for peace in Asia and in the world, and on that occasion Pope Francis would also visit Hiroshima to pray for a world without nuclear weapons. Minister Kishida reiterated his request for Secretary Gallagher's cooperation in this regard. In response, Secretary Gallagher expressed gratitude for the invitation, and stated that he would convey Minister Kishida's message to Pope Francis.
- Minister Kishida mentioned Pope Francis' New Year greetings in which he had condemned North Korea's nuclear testing and called on the countries concerned to take action to abolish nuclear weapons, and highly praised such efforts by the Vatican, which is the "voice of conscience" of the international community. In addition to the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, both sides exchanged views on such issues as response to the North Korea's situation, thoroughly upholding the rule of law in the South China Sea, and concern over the rise of protectionism. They confirmed they would work closely together to respond to these challenges facing the international community.