"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 Minster Kishida on His Visit to the United States

[Date] September 22, 2022
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional translation
[Full text]

[Opening statement]

As I begin this press conference, I express my heartfelt condolences to those who lost their precious lives because of Typhoon Number 14 and also to their bereaved family members. I also offer my deepest sympathies to all those who have been affected by this disaster. The Government will continue to take all possible responses in working towards recovery, in coordination with local governments and businesses.

I last attended the United Nations General Assembly High-level Week six years ago, in 2016, during my tenure as Foreign Minister. I very much appreciate the warm welcome extended to me by the United Nations and by the people of New York.

This High-level Week is the first to be held since Russia initiated its aggression against Ukraine. This crisis, said to occur once every several decades, marks a historic watershed, and I visited New York with the determination to continue to stand at the fore, advancing summit diplomacy and promoting "realism diplomacy for a new era."

In addition to the address I gave during the General Debate, I attended various multilateral meetings and also held summit meetings with a number of my counterparts.

First, in my speech during the General Debate, I stated that unilateral changes to the status quo brought about by force, including by Russian aggression against Ukraine, are undermining the very foundation of the entire international order, and against that backdrop, Japan is determined to realize the principles of the United Nations from the perspective that it will be indispensable to reform the UN and strengthen the functions of the UN itself if we are to return to the vision and principles of the United Nations and thoroughly maintain the international order based on the rule of law within the international community. Our determination towards this end comprises three pillars.

The first is the reform of the United Nations, including the Security Council, and strengthening the functions of the United Nations. The second is the realization of a United Nations that promotes the rule of law in the international community. The third is the promotion of efforts based on the concept of human security in the new era. In order to realize these three pillars, I will set out Japan's strong commitment to the United Nations and to multilateralism as we continue to listen sincerely to other nations' voices.

We also held the first-ever summit-level meeting of the Friends of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). In addition to promoting the CTBT's entry into force, universalization of the CTBT, and strengthening its verification system, we sent out a strong message to the international community through the adoption of a joint statement calling for signature and ratification by the remaining countries needed for the treaty's entry into force. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the CTBT being opened for signature, we succeeded in taking one important step that increases the momentum within the international community towards the early entry into force of the CTBT, on which Japan places importance, as a realistic and practical effort towards the realization of a world without nuclear weapons.

I also attended the Global Fund Seventh Replenishment Conference hosted by U.S. President Biden. The Global Fund was established building upon the momentum generated through the discussions at the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit. I announced that Japan will contribute up to US$1.08 billion to this Fund over the next three years in order to help bring the infectious diseases of HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria under stable control and help strengthen health systems. The importance of measures to counter infectious diseases has become quite clear through the spread of COVID-19; accordingly, Japan will demonstrate leadership in the field of international health.

At the HeforShe Summit hosted by UN Women, I was appointed a HeforShe Champion as a head of state actively working to promote women's empowerment. Taking this opportunity, and keeping in mind the World Assembly for Women (WAW!) conference convening in Tokyo in December this year, I declared that Japan's determination to realize gender equality is unchanging.

In the bilateral context, among the many national leaders attending High-level Week, I held in-depth discussions with recently appointed Prime Minister Truss of the UK, which advocates a "tilt" to the Indo-Pacific, about not only bilateral matters but also various issues impacting the international community as a whole. We confirmed that we will continue to further strengthen the close cooperation that exists between our two countries at the summit level, including at G7 meetings, regarding various international issues, including the situation in Ukraine and East Asian affairs.

Besides that, I also held meetings with newly elected President Marcos of the Philippines and also with President Erdogan of Turkey and President Raisi of Iran. I also had short, informal discussions with President Biden of the U.S. and Prime Minister Ardern of New Zealand. I also had informal discussions with President Yoon of the Republic of Korea (ROK). We share the view that it is imperative to resolve outstanding concerns and restore the Japan-ROK relationship to one of sound relations. We also agree in our thinking that we must develop Japan-ROK relations in a future-oriented manner on the basis of the relationship of friendship and cooperation that has been built up since the normalization of our relations in 1965. We decided to instruct our respective diplomatic authorities to accelerate the consultations currently taking place between them.

Against the backdrop of the crises we are currently facing, I had an exchange of views with each of the national leaders I met regarding responses to Russian aggression against Ukraine, a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, bilateral relations, and other matters of importance. Also, after this press conference concludes, I am scheduled to have meetings with Prime Minister Shmyhal of Ukraine and other leaders.

We also discussed soaring prices, which are an ongoing issue worldwide, the energy stable supply crisis, and our concerns about the global economic slowdown. While they each impact countries in different ways, we shared a strong awareness of the issue of needing to protect our citizens' daily lives and our economic activities.

Later today I will visit the New York Stock Exchange, the very heart of global capitalism, and appeal for active investment into the Japanese economy as I introduce my New Form of Capitalism.

In order to revitalize the Japanese economy and make it grow, it will be necessary to bring together investment from both the public and the private sectors to help cultivate the seeds for future growth, namely human capital, innovation, green transformation, and startups. I will speak directly to investors representing the entire world about changes in Japan and about Japan's future, making it an excellent opportunity to attract global money to Japan.

I also expect that an extraordinary session of the Diet will convene this autumn. At the Diet, the most important matter for discussion will be how to protect the people's daily lives and our economic activities from the various crises currently occurring -- the global increase in prices, maintaining a stable supply of energy, and concerns about a global recession.

Together with that, it is absolutely urgent that we give shape to concrete policies that will enable us to achieve the revitalization and growth of the Japanese economy, as I will pledge at the New York Stock Exchange.

From this perspective, on September 30, I will give concrete instructions towards that end to all members of my cabinet regarding the comprehensive economic measures that I already directed them to draw up within October. In October, once those measures have been drawn up, we will quickly implement them.

Also, with regard to our border measures, from October 11 we will abolish the cap on the number of daily arrivals, lift the ban on independent tourists, and eliminate the ban on visa-free travel. Accompanying this, beginning the same day, we will launch nationwide travel discount and event discount programs. By having many people make use of these discounts, we intend to support the lodging, travel, and entertainment industries, which have suffered as a result of the COVID-19 situation.

Japan's diplomatic capacity will be tested within the rapidly changing international community, with Japan serving as the presidency of next year's G7 and also becoming a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council from next January. I intend to make use of the opportunity of the G7 summit to be held in Hiroshima next May and other diplomatic occasions to continue to lead discussions, standing at the fore, regarding various issues facing the international community, including regional issues, the global economy, and global issues.