"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 Asia-Pacific Water Summit, Summit Meetings with Leaders of Other Nations and Other Matters

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

(On the achievements of the Asia-Pacific Water Summit, the significance of holding the summit in Kumamoto and summit meetings with leaders of other nations)

Today, the Asia-Pacific Water Summit was held with the participation of high-level delegations from the Asia-Pacific region, including the heads of state and government. While blessed with groundwater from Mount Aso, Kumamoto has so far hit by a number of torrential rain disasters. It is therefore very significant for us to have presented Japan's advanced efforts in the field of water cycle and flood control from Kumamoto and compiled the leaders' declaration, particularly in light of sending out to the rest of the world how Kumamoto is recovering from the disasters.

In particular, in my keynote speech at the summit-level meeting, I announced the "Kumamoto Water Initiative," which is aimed at actively contributing to the acceleration of the resolution of water-related social issues primarily through the development of high-quality infrastructure utilizing Japan's advanced technologies under a new form of capitalism. I specifically announced that Japan will provide some 500 billion yen over the next five years. The Kumamoto Water Initiative gained support in the leaders' declaration, and I believe that it will lead to concrete actions on water issues, disaster prevention and climate change, not only in the Asia-Pacific region, but also in the world.

I held bilateral summit meetings with the leaders of Tuvalu, Cambodia and Laos. The leaders expressed their high regard for Japan's leadership in the water sector, including by announcing the Kumamoto Water Initiative. I believe I was able to have meaningful exchanges of views with the leaders through confirming that we will cooperate in responding to the situation in Ukraine and strengthen bilateral relations.

(On whether the leaders discussed matters related to China in the Japan-Tuvalu summit meeting)

Regarding China, we exchanged views on recent development in the Pacific island region. However, due to the nature of diplomatic exchanges, let me refrain from going into details. In any case, we are watching how China make its move in the Pacific island region with great interest.

(On his thoughts about the two months since the Russian aggression of Ukraine and future measures to be taken in light of the impact of the aggression on the lives of the Japanese people, including the soaring commodity prices)

Two months have passed since then, and I feel that we are now at a critical juncture for ending the inhumane aggression by Russia. The aggression against Ukraine is an outrageous act that undermines the order of the international community, including Asia. It is extremely important for the international community to stand united and take firm action against such an act. As I mentioned earlier, the Water Summit provided us with an opportunity to confirm with the leaders of Tuvalu, Cambodia and Laos that we will work together in responding to the situation in Ukraine. We will continue to work with the G7 and other international community to impose strict sanctions to urge Russia to listen to the voices of the international community and stop its aggression.

As you have noted, the soaring international prices of crude oil and other commodities have had an impact on the lives of the Japanese people and the Japanese economy, while future trends are also uncertain. However, given that each of those in the international community is now struggling to maintain the peaceful world order in its own capacity, we ask the Japanese people to cooperate with the Government by sharing the understanding that now is the crucial moment to defend peace, although the Government will first prepare reliable price measures and make every effort to minimize the impact on the lives of the people and the economy.