"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 Prime Minister Abe Following the G7 Summit in Charlevoix

[Place] Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada
[Date] June 9, 2018
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional translation
[Full text]

Opening Statement by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

This year's G7 Summit has just ended.

First, as I begin my remarks, I would like to express my deep gratitude for the heartwarming hospitality of the people of Canada.

I also wish to express my respect for the leadership of Prime Minister Trudeau, who served as the chair.

In recent years, within the global economy, national borders have increasingly disappeared while interdependence has deepened.

The unease and dissatisfaction regarding these rapid changes sometimes give rise to the temptation to move to protectionism, causing acute conflicts of interest between countries.

The G7 member countries are no exception to this.

At this year's summit, we had very heated exchanges of views over trade.

Retaliating against measures that restrict trade will not be to the benefit of any country. All measures should be carried out in accordance with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). In order to expand global trade and investment, it is necessary to establish and develop free and fair rules. If the theft of technology and know-how become rampant, then we cannot expect hope for sustained economic development.

We have until now vigorously driven the growth of the global economy through sharing these major values and the direction in which the world should progress. That is who we, the G7, are. This is precisely why we can say what we really think to each other at ease. The G7 Summit has always been this nature of meeting.

At this summit there were a particularly large number of areas in which our views differed. It was difficult to make progress. However, even in that context we cannot overlook the issue of excess production caused by subsidies and other factors. The G7 shared the recognition that it would resolutely oppose unfair trade and investment practices that distort the markets.

Moreover, the G7 confirmed that it would endeavor to develop the trade system based on free and fair rules.

Outside the meeting hall, the leaders met among themselves in both the evening and the morning, discussed face-to-face candidly, and were able to reach agreements. It is highly significant that we were able to issue them as the Charlevoix G7 Summit Communique.

As a standard-bearer for free trade, Japan is determined to exercise strong leadership aimed at spreading markets based on free and fair rules throughout the world, including through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and our economic partnership agreement (EPA) with Europe. At the same time, we will make sure that the benefits obtained through economic growth are shared equally among all citizens by allocating them to education and welfare. Moreover, we will invest in order to facilitate harmony with the environment. These measures will make the next stage of economic growth possible. In order to realize sustained growth, initiatives to create this virtuous cycle are necessary. I promoted this idea and other leaders agreed with me.

Currently, the global economy overall is growing steadily while economic disruptions including the weakening of currencies are being seen in some emerging countries. In order to eliminate unease in the markets, we, the G7, will closely monitor market trends with the intention of taking actions when necessary. The G7 should cooperate to play a role in the stability of the global economy.

Through these discussions, all leaders reached consensus on the North Korean issue. Responding to various geopolitical risks is also an important role of the G7. In particular the peace and stability of Northeast Asia plays a crucial role in the stable growth of the global economy. I explained the North Korean issue in detail not only during the G7 Summit but also in individual summit meetings with Prime Minister May of the United Kingdom and Chancellor Merkel of Germany.

In addition, it was once again agreed as the consensus of the G7 that the international community should be united and continue to call for full implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

North Korea has abundant natural resources and a hardworking labor force. If North Korea chooses the right path, it can sketch out its own bright future. If the nuclear and missile issues and, most importantly, the abductions issue are resolved, then Japan is also prepared to settle the unfortunate past, normalize relations, and provide economic cooperation, in accordance with the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration.

I expressed my determination that Japan would work hard in realizing genuine peace in the Northeast Asia in close cooperation with the G7 leaders. I strongly hope for the success of the upcoming U.S.-North Korea Summit Meeting.

The G7 supports President Trump and his negotiating position as he participates in this historic meeting. The G7 were unanimous on the point.

We are countries tied together by fundamental values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Moreover, we share a strong sense of responsibility that we will play a major role in the peace and prosperity of the world.

We will reliably present prescriptions for the issues facing the world, including the economy and security. In order to do this, it is necessary to call for the constructive engagement of Russia as well. Both the G7 and Russia must make efforts towards developing an environment for achieving this. During the summit, the leaders discussed this point. We are determined to be united and take the leadership for the peace and prosperity of the world through candid discussions, despite various discrepancies of opinions. I believe that we were able to once again show our unchanged resolution to the world in this beautiful place, Charlevoix, Quebec at the beginning of summer.

I will end my opening statement here.