Tokyo Conference 2023 Dinner

March 24, 2023
[Provisional translation]
On March 24, 2023, Prime Minister Kishida attended the Tokyo Conference 2023 dinner held in Tokyo.

Prime Minister Kishida said in his speech,
“I am KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan. Today I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations on the successful holding of the Tokyo Conference to all those present here, including President Kudo and Advisory Board Member Muto. It has been a while since I last attended the conference and offered my remarks. Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, it had been rather difficult to invite many participants, so once again I extend my congratulations on the holding of the Tokyo Conference with the attendance of many people from around the globe after so long, and I would like to say, welcome to Japan, to all those who came here from around the world today. I have high expectations for the wisdom of and fruitful discussions by everyone gathered here in this round of the Tokyo Conference.
The world is facing a big watershed moment now. Russia’s aggression of Ukraine poses a challenge to the very rules and principles of the international community. I visited Ukraine the other day, and in the summit meeting with President Zelenskyy, I conveyed my respect for the courage and perseverance of the people of Ukraine who have stood up to defend their country and freedom.
I also had an opportunity to visit Bucha and listen directly to people who had harrowing experience because of the Russian atrocities. Upon seeing the scene of the tragedy with my own eyes, I reaffirmed my conviction that we must stop Russia’s aggression at the earliest possible time.
As Japan will host the Hiroshima Summit in May as the G7 Presidency holder, I would like to talk briefly about goals to achieve in the summit today.
What Japan aims to achieve in this year’s G7 summit is, first and foremost, to strongly show the G7’s determination to defend the international order based on the rule of law.
The Russian aggression against Ukraine is a case where a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council flagrantly tramples on the principles of the international community. I believe that this is an outrageous act and totally unacceptable. Unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force continue in the East and South China Seas as well. Economic coercion is another issue that cannot be overlooked.
All countries, whether large or small, can ensure their peace and security and enjoy the benefits of a free and open international order only under the rule of law. This is why the rule of law is important. We must not let the world regress to an era when the weak are victims of the strong.
In the Hiroshima Summit, we intend to show to the international community the unity and determination of the G7 to never accept unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion regardless of region and uphold the international order based on the rule of law.
Russia’s threat of use of nuclear weapons regarding the Ukraine situation poses another grave threat to the peace and security of the international community and is therefore completely unacceptable. We must never allow for the discontinuation of the 77-year record of non-use of nuclear weapons. In the Hiroshima Summit, we would like to express our pledge to never let the scourge of nuclear weapons occur again from the site of atomic bombing to the world. We also intend to send a strong message that the G7 will push ahead with realistic and practical efforts in this harsh security environment.
The other priority as the G7 Presidency holder is increasing engagement with the so-called Global South. The world is diverse, and in reality, there has been a relative increase in the power of countries with various characteristics. Such increasingly diversified society requires the observance of basic principles to respect rich diversity as well as dialogue to avoid division. We will deepen discussions with the G7 leaders on climate change and other global issues, which cannot be resolved without the cooperation of all of us, and show a stance to work together with the international community. We will then pass on the outcomes to the G20 chaired by India and a Commemorative Summit between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) slated for December this year.
This is exactly why I visited India this week. Prime Minister Modi of India and I affirmed that the G7 and the G20 will collaborate on important issues facing the international community.
During my visit to India, I announced a New Plan for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP), which gives more shape to the significance and concept of FOIP at this historic juncture and shows the determination to lead the international community in the direction of cooperation, rather than division and confrontation. Under the new plan, Japan will aim for rulemaking through dialogue with other countries as well as equal partnership with those countries that share the FOIP vision. The plan further puts forward four new pillars of initiatives, making a clear stance of robustly responding to the needs of each country. Japan will expand the circle of collaboration and cooperation with other countries and make joint efforts.
The G7 has most effectively responded to Russia’s atrocities that put an end to the post-Cold War era with the unity based on shared values. In the meantime, the group has humbly accepted that it alone cannot cope with numerous challenges facing the international community.
The challenges before us are posed not only to the G7, but also to all the countries that share the basic principles of the international community and wish for the peace and prosperity of humanity. With such recognition, we will tackle what is needed in our times, make efforts to achieve goals as the G7 Presidency holder through realistic diplomacy, and build a new era together with every country in the international community, including the Global South. Let me conclude my remarks by expressing such determination and to this end, asking for invaluable advice from many of you here today. Thank you very much for your kind attention.”

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