"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] Remarks by Prime Minister Kishida To the 5th Tokyo Global Dialogue

[Date] February 28, 2024
[Source] Cabinet Public Affairs Office, Cabinet Secretariat
[Full text]

Mr. SASAE Kenichiro, President of the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA),

Distinguished participants,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations on the convening of the Tokyo Global Dialogue for the fifth year in a row.

I understand that the theme of this year is "A World in Turmoil". Besides the ongoing Russia's aggression against Ukraine, we are witnessing new catastrophes surrounding Israel and Palestine. Japan itself is facing the most severe and complicated security environment since the end of World War II, including North Korea's nuclear and missile activities and unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force in the East and South China Seas. With the international community facing increasing tension, it is no exaggeration to say that the world is indeed in the midst of "turmoil".

At the same time, however, global challenges such as climate change, infectious diseases, and food and energy crises are all pressing problems. Countries must put aside differences in ideologies and values in addressing these problems and work together to defend "human dignity" and build a better future for all of humanity.

Ladies and gentlemen, as a peace-loving nation that has been contributing to the international community throughout the post-war era spanning nearly 80 years, what role should Japan play in these troubled times?

Japan has consistently contributed to regional peace and stability based on the Japan-U.S. alliance and has worked hand in hand with our ally and like-minded countries to maintain and strengthen the free and open international order based on the rule of law. At the same time, we have engaged in assisting the progress of a number of emerging countries and have worked hard to promote global development. The countries concerned now have a significant presence in the world as the Global South. I am convinced that Japan can lead the world toward cooperation, not division and confrontation, based on these achievements.

To this end, it is essential to strengthen relations with the United States, Japan's only ally. At the invitation of U.S. President Joe Biden, I will make an official visit to the United States in April and will hold a Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting. I have been working with President Biden on various issues such as the realization of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, Ukraine, and the Middle East, based on deep mutual trust. During my official visit, President Biden and I will reaffirm our commitment to bolstering cooperation between our two countries in order to maintain and strengthen the free and open international order based on the rule of law. We will also discuss ways to drive global economic growth together.

Our partnership with the Global South is also important. At G7 Hiroshima Summit last year, we made the strengthening of our engagement with partners beyond the G7 one of our key perspectives. Together with the invited countries, including those from the Global South, the G7 confirmed that we would work to address various challenges facing the international community. Based on this achievement, we will promote our own style of finely crafted cooperation, focusing on the "rule of law" and "human dignity", together with the Global South, which has been growing its influence in the international community, including ASEAN and India, our partners in driving forward the Indo-Pacific region, and Brazil, the G20 presidency this year.

With President Ruto of Kenya, who visited Japan this month, we have confirmed our cooperation for peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific and Africa. Pacific Island countries also have deep historical ties with Japan. They are longstanding friends with us connected by the sea. Through the 10th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM 10) to be held in Tokyo this July, as well as bilateral efforts, we continue to support regional unity and the efforts of Pacific Island countries themselves, discuss common issues such as climate change, and work together while learning from each other.

Amid increasing tension in the international community, world leaders must renew their awareness that the future of humanity is in their hands and, driven by a strong sense of responsibility, must continue their efforts toward world peace and prosperity. With unshakable conviction and determination, I myself will continue to engage more actively in summit diplomacy aimed at leading the world toward cooperation rather than division and confrontation.

I really hope that the discussions at the Tokyo Global Dialogue will serve as a guide for Japan and the international community to overcome the current "turmoil" and to build a stable international order and cooperation, and that to this end it will be a valuable source of lessons and ideas for us, the policy makers, to take on board.

Thank you for your attention.