"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] Contribution to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung by Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio on the Occasion of His Visit to Germany for the G7 Elmau Summit

[Date] June 26, 2022
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional translation
[Full text]

Four months have now passed since Russia began its recent aggression against Ukraine. This outrageous act by Russia not only degraded the very foundation of the international order but also precipitated spiraling energy and food prices, significantly impacting the global economy and people's daily lives.

Against this backdrop, the G7 Elmau Summit and the NATO Madrid Summit, both taking place next week, will be critical moments in predicting the next stage within the post-Cold War era. Unity between Japan and Germany, which place great importance on universal values, and among the G7 and NATO members, has never been called for as strongly as it is today.

I hope that through the upcoming summits we are able to deepen our discussions on further measures to strengthen both our sanctions against Russia and our assistance towards Ukraine. Japan is determined to work in cooperation with the G7 and NATO to actively make contributions only Japan can make, including outreach to other Asian nations.

Responses to the food and energy crises are another urgent matter, as these crises link directly to the daily lives of people the world over. Russia's claim that G7 sanctions sparked the food crisis is pure fiction. The actual cause was Russia wreaking havoc on Ukraine's productive capacity, substantially impeding Ukraine's ability to export, and obstructing stable supplies globally.

To respond to the global sharp increases in food prices, Japan has been providing assistance towards the restoration of agricultural production in Ukraine as well as assistance to countries highly vulnerable to the impacts of this crisis. In cooperation with the rest of the G7, Japan will implement assistance in concrete form, working towards the resumption of grain exports from Ukraine.

Russian aggression against Ukraine turned the environment surrounding the energy security of each country entirely on its head and triggered soaring fuel prices. And yet, it would not do for us to relax our efforts to tackle climate change. Keeping in mind a careful balance between climate change mitigation measures and energy security, I intend to accelerate, among other things, innovations in the field of hydrogen, to which both Japan and Germany attach importance.

Moreover, at the upcoming G7 Summit, I also intend to engage in discussions that delve more deeply into the "new form of capitalism" I advocate. Globalization has progressed and economies have grown dramatically, and yet we are facing a number of issues that include greater disparity and the challenge of climate change. We are now heading into a time for us to upgrade our version of capitalism in order to change this situation.

Under my "new form of capitalism," the issues that each country faces in its economy and society are not regarded as obstacles, but are instead transformed into engines for economic growth. Grounded in an approach of partnerships between markets and between countries, and between the public and private sectors, public-private cooperation is fundamentally strengthened and leveraged as a platform, while we place importance on advancing investments in human resources, technology, startups, and green and digital pursuits.

If we are to confront authoritarianism and realize sustainable growth, what is necessary is the materialization of this kind of "new form of capitalism." I hope to take advantage of this occasion of the Elmau Summit to, together with the other G7 leaders, give rise to a tide of new economic policies.

In addition, Japan will further expand the diplomatic and security role it plays in order to fully defend the peaceful order of both the region and the world. Authoritarian states ignore international law and make aggressive moves against the territory of other nations. The security environment of individual nations around the globe underwent a massive transformation in light of such outrageous acts. Germany has announced it is raising its defense budget to 2 percent of its GDP, and Finland and Sweden, neighbors to Russia, recast their historical policy of neutrality and announced their applications to join NATO.

Feeling a strong sense of crisis that "Ukraine today may be East Asia tomorrow," I myself took the decision to change our policy towards Russia. And, given the increasingly severe security environment in East Asia, I am determined for us to draw up a new National Security Strategy by the end of 2022 and fundamentally reinforce our defense capabilities within five years.

There is no country on earth that can, only by itself, ensure its own security. I will actively engage in diplomacy at the summit level and vigorously pursue "realism diplomacy for a new era," operating diplomacy and security as two sides of the same coin.

In the Indo-Pacific region, cooperation with Germany and the other countries of Europe and also of NATO plays a decisive role. I welcome Germany's strengthened interest and engagement in the Indo-Pacific region in recent years. I intend for us to advance our cooperation further towards the realization of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific through such diplomatic occasions as the next "2+2" meeting between our foreign and defense ministers and other intergovernmental consultations.

I am gravely concerned that the use of nuclear weapons is being discussed as a real possibility in the context of aggression against Ukraine. As a prime minister with his roots in Hiroshima, where an atomic bomb was dropped, I wish to emphasize once more that the threat of nuclear weapons now being made by Russia, let alone the use of them, should never be tolerated under any circumstances. The path towards such an approach is a hard one to follow, and I intend to demonstrate strong political leadership in order to again raise momentum towards achieving a world free of nuclear weapons. At both the Elmau Summit and next year's Hiroshima G7 Summit, I will advance discussions in concrete terms with Chancellor Scholz and the other G7 leaders regarding the route towards realistic nuclear disarmament.

Also, as a peace-loving nation, Japan will lead discussions to strengthen the functions of the United Nations, including the reform of the UN Security Council. In cooperation with Germany and the other members of the G7, we will also seek a way forward for global governance that responds to the new challenges of the international community.

Receiving the baton from Chancellor Scholz, next year I will convene the G7 summit in Hiroshima under the presidency of Japan. I intend to display the will of the G7 to resolutely reject armed aggression, the threat of nuclear weapons, and attempts to overturn the international order in a way appropriate for the weight this carries historically. I am determined to continue the close cooperation I enjoy with my counterparts and make every effort to enable us to engage in highly fruitful discussions.