Tokyo Conference 2024 Dinner

March 14, 2024

[Provisional translation]


On March 14, 2024, Prime Minister Kishida attended the Tokyo Conference 2024 dinner held in Tokyo.
Prime Minister Kishida said in his speech,
“I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations on the successful holding of the Tokyo Conference 2024 to President Kudo and all those present here and address a few words at the opening of this dinner.
As shown by Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine and the Israeli-Palestinian situation, the world has seen growing tensions. The historical shift in power balance has intensified competition between nations. On its part, Japan is facing the most severe and complex security environment since the end of World War II, including North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs as well as unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force in the East and South China Seas.
Such a situation is the very reason why it is important for us to aim for a world where diverse nations coexist and prosper together under the rule of law.
As Prime Minister of Japan and one of the leaders who play their role in the international community, I intend to work not only with Japan’s allies and like-minded countries, but also with the Global South, place human dignity at the core, and lead the world in the direction of cooperation rather than division and confrontation.
Looking back on its history, Japan has consistently contributed to regional peace and stability with the Japan-U.S. alliance as the linchpin and worked together with a variety of countries to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law for nearly 80 years since the end of World War II. At the same time, Japan has tackled numerous development challenges facing developing countries and advanced human-centered international cooperation based on the concept of human security, thereby making contributions to development around the world. In addition, as the only country that experienced atomic bombings in war, Japan has made tireless efforts toward a world without nuclear weapons.
Last year’s G7 Hiroshima Summit became a reality as the very symbol of the path that Japan has followed. At the Summit, the leaders held discussions from the two perspectives of thoroughly defending a free and open international order based on the rule of law and enhancing engagement with international partners beyond the G7. They affirmed the unity of G7 toward the realization of an international community of cooperation, not one of division and confrontation. Moreover, we successfully sent a strong message of a world without nuclear weapons with the leaders of countries around the globe from the A-bombed city of Hiroshima.
This year will witness important elections in many countries that will sway the direction of the world. The situations in Ukraine and the Middle East are at a critical juncture.
Japan will put the rule of law and human dignity at the center in any place under any circumstances, remain unwavering in this stance, and consistently step forward to lead toward cooperation.
To this end, I will begin with enhancing relations with the United States, Japan’s only ally. At the invitation of U.S. President Biden, I will pay an official visit to the United States to attend a Japan-U.S. summit meeting in April. On top of this, I am scheduled to address a joint session of Congress at its invitation. President Biden and I have thus far built on deep relations of trust and worked together on a variety of global challenges, such as the realization of a free and open Indo-Pacific and the Ukrainian and Middle Eastern issues. On the latest official visit, I intend to reaffirm that both countries will enhance collaboration to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law and hold discussions on how the two countries will lead the growth of the world economy.
Russia’s invasion on Ukraine is an outrageous act that shakes the foundations of the international order, not only in Europe, but also in the Indo-Pacific region.
Japan has strongly condemned the Russian aggression against Ukraine and will vigorously advance sanctions against Russia and support for Ukraine. In the Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Growth and Reconstruction held last month, Japan built on my visit to Ukraine as the G7 President in March last year and put forward a powerful public-private support package to contribute to the reconstruction of Ukraine in a way unique to Japan, not only as investment for the future of Ukraine but also investing in Japan and the whole globe. We will properly follow up on the results and cooperate with the G7 and other countries as well as international organizations and other partners.
Relations with neighboring countries also hold importance. With China, Japan will comprehensively promote a Mutually Beneficial Relationship Based on Common Strategic Interests, firmly maintain and assert our position, and strongly request China to act responsibly, while at the same time continuing to engage in dialogue including that on areas of concern and cooperate on matters of common interest as well as building a constructive and stable relationship through efforts on the part of both Japan and China. Regarding South Korea (ROK), taking my relationship of trust with President Yoon as the cornerstone, Japan will expand cooperation with the country and further reinforce trilateral collaboration, based on the Japan-U.S.-ROK summit meeting at Camp David last August.
Japan will further deepen cooperation with the Global South through summit diplomacy and advance fined-tuned cooperation unique to the country with the Global South, which has been gaining influence in the international community, including ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and India with which Japan plays a part in the Indo-Pacific, and Brazil, which holds the G20 (Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy) presidency this year.
President Ruto of Kenya, who visited Japan last month, and I affirmed the two countries’ cooperation toward peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific and Africa. Pacific island nations (PINs) are Japan’s long-standing friends connected by the ocean, as Japan has historically fostered deep ties with these countries. Through the 10th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM10) to be held in Tokyo in July and bilateral initiatives, Japan will support regional unity and the PINs’ own efforts and hold discussions on common challenges, including climate change and maritime issues, in order to work together on these matters.
Japan will continue to push ahead with realistic and practical initiatives toward a world without nuclear weapons. If circumstances permit, Foreign Minister Kamikawa will visit New York to host a Security Council ministerial meeting on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation on March 18. In light of the Hiroshima Vision issued in the G7 Hiroshima Summit, we will aim to accelerate substantial discussions with the participation of nuclear-weapon states.
Furthermore, Japan will establish ‘Japan Chair for a world without nuclear weapons,’ which I announced at the General Assembly last year, at research institutes in the United States, Europe, and Asia, so as to speed up international discussions toward a nuclear-free world.
We must once again strengthen multilateralism with the United Nations as the core, which is closely linked to today’s topic, seeking to restore the UN as an arena that sheds light on human dignity and promotes international cooperation.
The Summit of the Future is slated for September, and I intend to present prospects that multilateralism will work for future generations. On the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations next year, Japan will contribute to discussions with future generations in mind, toward the achievement of the SDGs (Sustainable Deevelopment Goals) throughout the international community, while in anticipation of a post-SDGs era and in accordance with the concept of human security. In addition, Japan will work on reinforcing the functions of the United Nations, such as Security Council reforms, in order to realize a Council that reflects the current world.
Through the initiatives mentioned today, I will actively forge ahead with summit diplomacy with other leaders who play their role in the international community to responsibly lead the world in the direction of cooperation rather than division and confrontation, for the sake of the shared future of humanity. I would like to conclude my remarks by reiterating my determination to promote these initiatives.
Thank you very much for your kind attention.”


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