Press Conference by the Prime Minister regarding His Thoughts on the Six Months since the Inauguration of the Kishida Administration, His Policies for the Future and Other Matters
April 4, 2022
(Regarding his thoughts on the six months since the inauguration of the Kishida administration and his policies for the future)
Looking back on the six months since inauguration, I have faced so many challenges during this period that I have constantly been focused on all-out efforts to address them. Immediately after the start of my administration, I dissolved the House of Representatives to call a general election, which gave me the mandate to take countermeasures against the COVID-19, including the “Overall picture of measures to ensure security against the next spread of infections," as well as to compile the largest-ever economic stimulus package. In our battle against the Omicron strain since the beginning of this year, we have devoted ourselves to ensuring that the medical delivery system, vaccine programs, tests and therapeutic drugs are fully operational, based on the "Overall picture of measures" that we formulated to deal with the COVID-19. With the properties of the Omicron strain unclear at the outset, we had to be extremely flexible in making a series of judgments and decisions day after day. In doing so, we have made particular efforts to strike a balance between how we deal with infections and how we mobilize the economy and society. As we have worked on this, we have recognized that the public or the society now has a different mindset from what we saw last year.
What then emerged as a major challenge was the aggression of Ukraine by Russia. Recognizing that such a unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force must not be tolerated not only in Europe, but also in the entire world, including Asia, we have decided to firmly respond to the situation by cooperating with the international community.
In response to the steep rise in international prices of crude oil, raw materials and food, among others, we have been working on domestic measures, the latest of which is a set of additional measures that I have just instructed to consider with a view to preparing reliable countermeasure against price hikes by the end of April.
While I look back on the past six months loaded with so many judgements and decisions we had to make, we still have a mountain of challenges ahead of us, including measures to deal with the COVID-19 and response to the Ukraine issue, as well as efforts to revitalize the domestic economy. With a sense of urgency and crisis, we intend to commit ourselves to continued efforts. Those are how I look back on the past six months and how I look to the future.
(Regarding his thoughts on the allegation that Russian troops killed a large number of civilians in Bucha near Kiev and the consideration of additional sanctions)
We strongly condemn such acts of harming civilians, which constitute a violation of international law. As you have pointed out, we are aware of the criticism of Russia that is growing in the international community. The Government of Japan is committed to strictly condemning such acts that involve humanitarian concerns and violations of international law. With regard to whether to impose further sanctions, we will watch how the overall situation will unfold and work closely with the international community to determine what we should do down the road.