"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] Video Message by Prime Minister Kishida at the Opening Ceremony of the WCO RILO Tokyo

[Date] February 7, 2024
[Source] Cabinet Public Affairs Office, Cabinet Secretariat
[Notes] Provisional translation
[Full text]

Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. I am KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan.

It's my pleasure to have an opening ceremony of the WCO RILO Tokyo today with the leaders from Customs administrations and relevant organizations.

Customs administrations are indispensable for facilitating legitimate trade, collecting taxes, and ensuring the safety of our society. Actually, Customs administrations are making a significant contribution to preventing illegal trade transactions by analyzing various information, identifying suspicious cargos or passengers, and conducting necessary inspections.

As organized criminal groups are making various efforts in diversifying smuggling methods in recent years, they have their own information network and are always checking for weaknesses in the Customs enforcement, if any. To counter this trend, Customs administrations and related organizations are required to develop more effective and wider networks.

In this regard, under the leadership of former Secretary-General Dr. Mikuriya, the WCO has developed the intelligence network of Customs administrations. I firmly believe that the RILO Tokyo will serve as a hub for such networks. Under the new Secretary-General Mr. Sanders, I expect support from all the attendees to make our cooperative relationships much stronger. The Government of Japan absolutely supports RILO's activities.

Finally, I will conclude my speech by extending my best wishes for the success of future activities of the RILO and the development of Customs administrations and relevant organizations here today.

Thank you.