"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 the Prime Minister regarding His Attendance at a G7 Summit Meeting and Other Matters

[Date] March 23, 2022
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional Translation
[Full text]

(Regarding an address delivered by President Zelensky of Ukraine to the Diet)

I had the honor of listening to President Zelensky as he delivered a speech online to the National Diet of Japan. I was impressed by President Zelensky's strong determination and courage to protect his homeland and the Ukrainian people under extremely difficult circumstances. In Ukraine, schools and hospitals have been indiscriminately attacked, and many innocent civilians have lost their precious lives. Such ruthless attacks on civilians and civilian facilities are something that must not be tolerated. We should never forgive Russia for this outrageous act, and I believe that the international community as a whole should firmly support the Ukrainian people who are facing difficulties. Listening to the President's address, I renewed my thoughts on such matters. Japan is now considering imposing additional sanctions against Russia and extending additional humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, in addition to the 100 million dollars in humanitarian aid that we have already announced. Once again, I would like to stress that Japan stands with Ukraine.

(Regarding his attendance at a G7 summit meeting and other matters)

I am leaving for Brussels, Belgium tonight to attend a G7 summit meeting. Japan has already displayed close cooperation with the G7, and I would like to take advantage of this summit as another opportunity to demonstrate our strong cooperation and to disseminate our initiatives to the world. I would also like to explain Japan's plan for further strengthening of sanctions during the meeting, while also announcing additional humanitarian assistance in addition to the 100 million dollars in humanitarian aid we have already announced, as I have just mentioned, to show solidarity with Ukraine. And since Japan is the only Asian nation participating in the G7, I would also like to give explanation about the achievements from my recent visits to India and Cambodia, where I exchanged views with their respective leaders, as well as how Japan is urging such Asian nations to join our efforts.

Regarding your question about a meeting with President Biden, coordination is still underway for a bilateral meeting as the G7 summit itself was set at a very short notice. I believe that it is important to hold as many bilateral meetings as possible to confirm cooperation and build trust on a bilateral basis as well. In any case, we are now making scheduling efforts so that we can benefit from such bilateral meetings.

(Regarding his thoughts about attending the G7 summit meeting)

I think this would probably overlap what I have just said, but I hope that the G7 summit will be an opportunity for Japan to display and disseminate our commitment to the solidarity of the G7 and the international community as a whole. As part of such efforts, I intend to announce new sanctions and new humanitarian assistance. And as you have said, Japan is the only Asian nation participating in the G7, so I think it is important for us to contribute in this regard by informing other G7 leaders of what is happening in Asia, to have such a relevant information sharing. As I resume and intensify face-to-face diplomacy down the road to confirm cooperation with various countries, primarily in Asia, I believe it is important to make sure that the achievements of such diplomacy are shared among the G7 nations.

(On comments regarding President Zelensky's appeal for continuation of sanctions against Russia as well as UN reform which were touched upon in his address)

Of course, in order to elicit positive actions from Russia, it is important that the international community apply sanctions in a coordinated manner. With this in mind, I wish to cooperate with other G7 nations. With regard to the role of the United Nations, as I have made it clear during the Budgetary Committee sessions, Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council which entails a grave responsibility to the international peace and stability, resorted to such outrageous acts. As a result, I believe that the situation demands answers to questions such as what the international frameworks such as the UN mean, or what the necessary actions should be going forward. As for UN reform, which Japan has been making efforts thus far, we need to discuss the role of the Security Council, among others. Japan must redouble its efforts to achieve UN reform from now on. This is how I see it.