Internet Governance Forum 2023: Opening Ceremony

October 9, 2023

[Provisional translation]


On October 9, 2023, Prime Minister Kishida attended the opening ceremony of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2023 held in Kyoto city.
In his remarks, the Prime Minister said:
Hello everyone, and welcome to Japan. I am KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan.
I would like to express my heartfelt respect to all the participants, onsite and online, for continuous discussions and efforts to realize a better Internet.
The fundamental philosophy of the Internet Governance Forum, which emphasizes open, democratic, and inclusive processes, is in line with Japan’s basic values. It is our great pleasure to host this forum for the first time and to welcome you all.
Digital technology, including the Internet, is an engine that supports the economic activities of people around the world and brings about economic growth.
The Internet functions as a place for free and diverse expression and enables access to information and services that transcend time and space constraints. It is not only indispensable for life and socioeconomic activities, but also extremely important as the foundation of democratic society. In addition, a free and unfragmented Internet is essential to address various challenges we face, such as development, health, and security, and for further development of humankind.
On the other hand, it is also true that the Internet has created issues that threaten people's safety and also free economic and social activities, for example, such as the spread of illegal and harmful information, including disinformation, cyber attacks, and cyber crime.
Without turning away from these negative aspects, I believe that by bringing together participants from all over the world, from different perspectives and bringing together their wisdom through a multi-stakeholder approach, we can maximize the benefits of the Internet while reducing risks.
I think that the overarching theme of this year's meeting, "The Internet We Want – Empowering All People," is an expression of our strong commitment to realize an inclusive Internet that leaves no one behind and to explore the sustainable future of human beings. The Government of Japan, as the host country, believes that it is an important responsibility to contribute to the discussions.
In order for the Internet to promote Data Free Flow with Trust (DFFT) and to continue contributing to human development, I am convinced that it is necessary to maintain an open, free, global, interoperable, secure, and reliable Internet. Japan will continue to support and commit to internet governance by multi-stakeholders from various perspectives.
Finally, the host city, here in Kyoto, has a rich history and tradition. I would like all of you to enjoy the culture, food and hospitality of Kyoto and Japan, along with lively discussions on the future of the Internet and the exchange between participants. In my opening remarks, I would like to express my sincere hope that this meeting in Kyoto will be meaningful and fruitful for the future of the international community and for each and every one of you.
Thank you very much.


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