"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 Kishida Regarding His Visit to France and Other Matters

[Date] May 2, 2024
[Source] Cabinet Public Affairs Office, Cabinet Secretariat
[Notes] Provisional translation
[Full text]

(On Prime Minister Kishida's reaction upon having completed his series of diplomatic engagements in France; on how to utilize the framework announced by Prime Minister Kishida addressing international rule-making on generative artificial intelligence)

As we mark the 60th anniversary of Japan's accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Japan will, for the first time in a decade, chair the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting. Over two days, today and tomorrow, five Japanese Cabinet ministers will lead discussions, with each chairing the talks on a different agenda item. During this meeting, in my keynote speech I took up the theme of "co-creating the flow of change" and clearly laid out an approach in which we engage in multilateral cooperation in various areas such as trade, the environment, and digital issues to overcome the crises facing the international community. Japan also launched new initiatives to further build up the OECD Southeast Asia Regional Programme (SEARP) I helped institute ten years ago during my tenure as Foreign Minister and to enable the OECD to become an "escort runner" that assists Southeast Asia in its growth and development. I welcome Indonesia and Thailand recently starting off on steps towards joining the OECD, and Secretary-General Cormann also expressed his appreciation for the efforts Japan has made over the past decade. I believe that through these initiatives, Japan has successfully made contributions to maintaining and expanding a rules-based, free and fair economic order.

With regard to your other question regarding generative artificial intelligence (AI), we convened a side event on that very topic. During that event, I announced the inauguration of the Hiroshima AI Process Friends Group, a framework of countries supporting the spirit of the Hiroshima AI Process, with 49 countries and regions participating. It was Japan that oversaw the coordination of the Hiroshima AI Process during its presidency of the G7, and with so many countries and regions participating and this kind of framework now being realized, I felt the broadening of support for this Hiroshima AI Process. Japan will work intently, together with the other members of the Friends Group, to implement the International Guiding Principles and the Code of Conduct in order to address the risks of generative AI. In this way, I intend to advance our cooperation to create an environment in which people all over the world can benefit from the use of safe, secure, and trustworthy AI.

(On how Prime Minister Kishida intends to make progress towards security cooperation with France in the Indo-Pacific region, in light of the agreement reached during the bilateral summit to launch negotiations on a Japan-France Reciprocal Access Agreement; on what views were exchanged regarding China during the Japan-France summit meeting; and on the Government of Japan's response to and views on the yen soaring in the U.S. dollar/Japanese yen exchange market, including with regard to currency intervention)

During the Japan-France summit meeting we just concluded, we agreed to launch negotiations on a Japan-France Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA). Japan and France are both Indo-Pacific nations. As such, our two countries have over the years built up a record of joint exercises and cooperation in the area of security. The RAA that we discussed during this visit will further promote such bilateral security cooperation and also contribute to the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region. I very much intend for us to make steady progress in this area.

As for China, we exchanged views without reserve on a range of regional affairs, such as Indo-Pacific affairs, including China, as well as the situation in Ukraine and the Middle East situation. Against the backdrop of the international situation becoming increasingly tense, we saw fully eye to eye on the position that the security of the two regions of the Indo-Pacific and the Euro-Atlantic cannot be considered separately. Also, we concurred to build up our bilateral cooperation, including within the G7, as Japan and France share common values and principles.

As for the foreign exchange market, I will refrain from making any comment on movements in the currency exchange market or on currency intervention, including about whether or not such intervention has occurred. This is consistent with statements I have made thus far.