"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa

[Date] July 12, 2022
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Notes] This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.
[Full text]

Opening Remarks

Japan-Philippines Foreign Ministers' Telephone Talk

Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I have one announcement to make.

I just had a telephone talk with Secretary of Foreign Affairs Manalo of the Philippines, who was appointed as Foreign Minister under the Marcos administration. I congratulated him on his appointment. The details of our discussion are as stated in the press release. Secretary Manalo and I concurred on promoting cooperation towards realizing a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific," coast guard and security, as well as advancing bilateral cooperation by strengthening and facilitating exercises and other activities between the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. We have also concurred on responding, in a coordinated manner, to the regional affairs of the East China Sea, South China Sea, Ukraine, North Korea, and Myanmar, as well as strengthening the functions of the United Nations, including UN Security Council Reform.

Today marks exactly six years after the issuance of the Arbitral Tribunal's award as to the disputes between the Philippines and China regarding the South China Sea. I have affirmed with Secretary Manalo that we will seek for peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea in accordance with the arbitral award. In addition, I have just issued a statement regarding Japan's position on this matter. That is all from me.

Passing of Former Prime Minister Abe (Condolences From Various Countries)

Asahi Shimbun, Nohira: I believe that government dignitaries and other such people from various countries have been expressing condolences with regard to the passing of former Prime Minister Abe in the shooting incident. Please tell us your reaction to this.

Minister Hayashi: We have received more than 1,700 condolence messages from 259 countries, regions, organizations, and others so far, regarding the passing of former Prime Minister Abe. A large number of condolence messages has reminded us once again of the major legacy that Prime Minister Abe has left in the field of diplomacy.

I would like to express my respect for the achievements of former Prime Minister Abe, and I would like to renew my determination to make all efforts to address Japan's various diplomatic challenges.

Passing of Former Prime Minister Abe (Diplomatic Achievements)

Yomiuri Shimbun, Yoda: In relation to the current question, I would like to ask what you think of former Prime Minister Abe's achievements in diplomacy, and how you will leverage those points in diplomacy going forward.

Minister Hayashi: Firstly, I would like to again extend my heartfelt prayers for former Prime Minister Abe, whose life was taken due to outrageous violence carried out in the midst of an election, the very foundation of democracy. I would like to express my respect for his various achievements in leading Japan as Prime Minister for a total of eight years and eight months, the longest period in Japan's constitutional history. I would also like to extend my sincere condolences.

Former Prime Minister Abe has made tremendous achievements by implementing "diplomacy that took a panoramic perspective of the world map," with his outstanding leadership and execution ability. He has actively engaged in summit-level diplomacy, including building a solid Japan-U.S. Alliance and formed favorable relations with various countries and regions.

In addition, amidst the extremely severe international affairs, he has laid the foundation for the peace and stability of both Japan and the world, including efforts to realize a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" and developing the Legislation for Peace and Security.

Amidst this, many countries and regions now support the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" vision that former Prime Minister Abe began to advocate in 2016, which aims to ensure a rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific in a comprehensive and transparent manner. As the international order faces major challenges, I recognize that this vision is more important than ever before.

Following in the footsteps of former Prime Minister Abe, who laid the foundation for Japan's future diplomacy, I will firmly work under the Kishida administration to further strengthen the Japan-U.S. Alliance, coordinate with like-minded countries such as ASEAN and European countries, and cooperate towards realizing a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" in order to realize peace and prosperity in the international community.

Passing of Former Prime Minister Abe

Yomiuri Shimbun, Yoda: I am very sorry that it is outside your jurisdiction but I would like to ask another relevant question. It is pointed out that there have been security problems with the incident in which Prime Minister Abe passed away. If you have any thoughts about this, please tell us.

Minister Hayashi: I am aware that there have been reports on this. It is true that it is outside my jurisdiction, so I would like to refrain from commenting on this.

Situation in Ukraine (Sanctions Against Russia)

Independent Web Journal, Kihara: Yesterday, Prime Minister Kishida indicated that he intends to display, in a way appropriate for the weight this carries historically, the will of the G7 to lead the way in creating the order of the new era, based on universal values and international rules. He also stated that he will reach out to some ASEAN and African countries that are taking neutral positions.

Currently, there are only less than 40 countries participating in the sanctions against Russia around the world, mostly in European countries and the United States. Over 150 of the United Nations member states do not participate in sanctions. Russia is advancing cooperation with the BRICS and the SCO, including China and India, which are actively purchasing Russian oil at low prices, and with Iran, Saudi Arabia and Argentina that were supposed to be friendly towards the United States. It seems that it is mainly Europe, the United States, and Japan that are excluding Russia under the leadership of the United States, while other countries are aiming to break out of the international order under the hegemony of the United States and create a diverse international order. While sanctions against Russia are making the G7 suffer from inflation and other problems, countries that are not participating in sanctions are achieving higher growth rates than the G7. Although the new G8 proposed by Russia has a total of 67% of the nominal GDP of the G7, it reverses the GDP in purchasing power parity term of the G7 by 1.25 times. Which Asian and African countries, and how many countries do you expect to participate in sanctions against Russia and the new order led by the G7 through Japan's efforts?

Minister Hayashi: Japan has been steadily and swiftly implementing tough sanctions based on G7 Leaders' Statements and other statements.

I am aware that the sanctions of various countries, including Japan, have caused various impacts on the Russian economy, including rising prices and the withdrawal and suspension of operations of foreign companies.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is an act of violence that undermines the foundation of the international order, and it is important to demonstrate that it comes at a high price. Japan will continue to unite with the international community, including the G7, to levy tough sanctions so that Russia stops its invasion as soon as possible and, to that end, to make the sanctions even more effective by leaving no loopholes.

In addition, while utilizing the G20 as a buffer, Japan will continue to firmly outreach to countries that are said to be in a neutral position.

Passing of Former Prime Minister Abe (Visit to Japan by Vice President Lai Ching-te of Taiwan)

Asahi Shimbun, Nohira: I would like to ask a question in relation to the first question. The Vice President of Taiwan visited Japan to offer condolences to former Prime Minister Abe. I believe it is unusual for a current high official to visit Japan. Please tell us your reaction to this.

Minister Hayashi: It is my understanding that the person you have just mentioned is visiting Japan as a private individual to attend the funeral of former Prime Minister Abe.

In any case, there is no change in Japan's basic position of maintaining Japan-Taiwan relations as a working relationship on a non-governmental basis.

Situation in Ukraine (Sanctions Against Russia)

Independent Web Journal, Kihara: Although…

Facilitator: Please use the microphone to ask a question.

Independent Web Journal, Kihara: Although I am repeating what I asked ealier, could you please tell us which and how many Asian and African countries do you expect to participate in sanctions against Russia as a result of Japan's efforts?

Minister Hayashi: I would like to refrain from stating a specific number. As I stated earlier, we will continue to outreach while utilizing various frameworks, mainly the G7.