Joint Press Conference by the Leaders of Japan, the United States and the Republic of Korea

August 18, 2023

[Provisional translation]

[Opening Statement by Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio]


First of all, I express my deepest sympathies for the devastating damage caused by the wildfires in Maui, Hawaii, and send my prayers to the victims of the disaster. Japan has decided, as a means of support to the affected people, to offer a total of $2 million worth of assistance. We will proactively provide assistance to the affected people and for the earliest recovery of the affected areas.
Today, I visited Camp David, where the three of us spent a truly meaningful time. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Joe for his invitation. The meeting was a valuable opportunity to further deepen relations of trust with Joe and President Yoon.
This summit was the first-ever Japan-U.S.-ROK Summit Meeting to be held as a standalone event, instead of in the sidelines of multilateral conferences. Numerous historical meetings have been held here at Camp David, and it is a great honor to have printed a new page in its history.
Solid bilateral relations serve as the foundation for Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation. The three of us have understood this principle more than anyone else and have put this in practice. This year, I visited the United States in January, President Yoon visited Japan in March and the United States in April, I then visited the ROK in May. These visits have strengthened our mutual ties.
Today, the free and open international order based on the rule of law is at stake. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has shaken the very foundation of the international community. While attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force in the East and South China Seas continue, North Korea’s nuclear and missile threat continues to grow.
Under such circumstances, unleashing the potential of strategic Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation today is an inevitability and what the times demand. Today, the three of us express our determination to open up the “New Era of Japan-U.S.-ROK partnership.”
I would like to explain how we will develop our trilateral cooperation from three perspectives.
First, we will reinforce coordination between the Japan-U.S. Alliance and the U.S.-ROK Alliance with a view to elevating the trilateral security cooperation to a higher level. At this summit, we concurred to hold the Japan-U.S.-ROK multidomain joint exercises on an annual basis. Furthermore, regarding the real-time sharing of North Korea’s missile warning data on which we concurred in November last year, we have taken initial action, an important step toward launching the mechanism by the end of this year.
Moreover, we concurred in establishing a new trilateral working group on North Korea’s cyber activities, considered to be the source of finance for nuclear and missile development, and in other matters.
Secondly, we will promote Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation and expand its areas. Regarding the response to North Korea, in addition to efforts to strengthen regional deterrence and response capabilities, we confirmed the need to strengthen cooperation toward the full implementation of sanctions. We also concurred in working closely together at the United Nations Security Council, where all three countries will be members in 2024. At the same time, we shared the recognition that the door is open for dialogue with North Korea. In addition, I stated that the abduction issue involving Japanese nationals is a humanitarian issue with a time limit, and I again received the strong support of Joe and President Yoon for the immediate resolution of this issue.
Toward the realization of a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” we concurred in working together through the “Indo-Pacific Dialogue” and development cooperation, among others, with particular emphasis on the coordination of capacity building assistance on the maritime security front regarding ASEAN and Pacific Island countries. On the economic security front, we also concurred in promoting cooperation in areas such as critical and emerging technologies and supply chain resilience.
Thirdly and lastly, we will consolidate the Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation framework. By doing so, we will lay the foundation for strengthening the trilateral cooperation in a continuous and stable manner. After confirming that the three countries will promote multi-layered cooperation at all levels, we concurred in holding the trilateral summit meeting at least once a year. The ministers of foreign affairs, defense, and national security advisors will each meet at least once a year as well. We will also be holding meetings between our financial ministers as well the commerce and industry ministers.
At a time when the international community is at a historic turning point, we will set the “Camp David Principles” issued today as a new compass for Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation so that we will vigorously implement concrete cooperation. Together with Joe and President Yoon, I will continue to work to further strengthen the strategic Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation in order to fully defend a free and open international order based on the rule of law.


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