"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 the Latest G7 Summit Meeting and Other Matters

[Date] March 24, 2022
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional Translation
[Full text]

(Regarding the latest G7 summit meeting)

The latest G7 summit meeting held in a face-to-face format was highly meaningful as an opportunity for the G7 to confirm its strong determination to never tolerate Russia's outrageous act and to take the lead in defending the order of the international community. In the G7 Summit, I emphasized Japan's continued commitment to taking resolute actions despite Russia's declaration that it will suspend negotiations for a peace treaty with us. I also said that we are seriously concerned about the possibility of Russia resorting to weapons of mass destruction, stressing that either the use of nuclear weapons or the use of biological or chemical weapons must never be allowed. I also gave explanation about Japan's additional sanctions against Russia, and our commitment to providing an additional 100 million dollars in emergency humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and its neighboring countries, as well as our consideration of making contributions by sending personnel to the health and medical sectors and additional measures to urge the acceptance of evacuees into Japan. I also explained that Japan, the only G7 member nation representing Asia, is reaching out to other Asian nations, including India and Cambodia that I recently visited, to invite them to work with the G7. Such initiatives and produced results were highly appreciated by other leaders.

Also, on the sidelines of the G7 Summit, I held a series of bilateral meetings despite the short period of time I had in Brussels, including those with U.S. President Biden and the leaders of the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom, Poland, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Canada. During those talks, I was able to have candid and face-to-face discussions with each of the leaders and confirmed that we will work closely together in responding to the situation in Ukraine, including by imposing strong sanctions against Russia and providing support to Ukraine and its neighboring countries.

I also strongly condemned today's launch of a ballistic missile by North Korea, and we confirmed that the G7 will work together to deal with the issue of North Korea's nuclear and missile development.

Faced with the current crisis, the G7 has responded very effectively. As Japan prepares for next year's G7 presidency, we will lead international efforts against Russia's aggression in close cooperation with Germany, which holds the presidency this year, as well as with other member nations.

As for the question about the exchange I had with President Biden, while the meeting with the president lasted only a short period of time, we discussed and confirmed that we will closely cooperate in responding to Russia's aggression against Ukraine, as well as in dealing with North Korean issues, including this morning's launch of what appears to be a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). We also agreed that we will cooperate in further strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance.

(Regarding new sanctions against Russia and measures to assist Ukraine and its neighboring countries)

With regard to the additional sanctions, firstly, we will prepare to submit to the current session of the Diet a revision bill aimed at revoking Russia's Most-Favored-Nation status. Secondly, a total of 81 military-related organizations will be added to the list of entities subject to export bans. Thirdly, many oligarchs, their families and others will be added to the sanctions list. Fourth, an export ban on luxury goods will be introduced early next week. Fifth, we will prepare to submit to the current session of the Diet another revision bill aimed at further strengthening the effectiveness of financial sanctions in response to Russia's attempts to circumvent sanctions through the use of digital assets. On occasions including today's G7 Summit, those additional sanctions to be implemented by Japan were highly appreciated when I explained them.

Meanwhile, regarding the assistance to Ukraine and its neighboring countries, we have announced Japan's commitment to providing an additional 100 million dollars in emergency humanitarian assistance in addition to the 100 million dollars in humanitarian assistance already announced. I also explained that, to support evacuees who have evacuated to neighboring countries from Ukraine, we are considering cooperation in providing supplies and sending personnel primarily to the medical and health sectors. In addition, we will also take steps to provide assistance for the acceptance of evacuees into Japan. Specifically, we will establish in Poland a support team for evacuees from Ukraine. In a related move, we will dispatch Justice Minister Furukawa to Poland in the near future as a special envoy of the Prime Minister as part of our efforts to promote the acceptance of evacuees. We explained those initiatives to Prime Minister Morawiecki of Poland and the Polish government highly appreciated such contributions from us. We will continue to provide all possible assistance to support the Ukrainian people who are expected to face prolonged difficulties down the road.

As for the loopholes of the sanctions, I pointed out at the G7 Summit that as the international community is united in imposing severe sanctions against Russia, there should be neither assistance extended to Russia nor attempt to help Russia "backfill" its losses from the sanctions. The G7 leaders also agreed to continue to work closely together not to allow the evasion, bypassing or backfilling of sanctions and to urge other countries to follow suit. This matter was also confirmed in the outcome document.