Press Conference by Prime Minister Kishida Regarding His Attendance at the G7 Apulia Summit

June 15, 2024

[Provisional translation]


(At the G7 Apulia Summit, during the session on Ukraine, G7 member countries decided to provide assistance to Ukraine by making use of Russia's frozen assets, and the Government of Japan stated it will consider sanctions against Chinese companies; on Prime Minister Kishida's views on these outcomes and the aims behind them)
At the G7 Apulia Summit, we engaged in discussions across six sessions regarding a number of topics. Among those, we devoted a substantial amount of time to the issue of Russian aggression against Ukraine.
During our discussions, first of all, in light of the war situation becoming increasingly severe, I pointed out the importance of the G7 continuing to unite in providing support for Ukraine. I also stated that Japan will continue to vigorously promote sanctions against Russia and assistance to Ukraine, under the thinking that Ukraine today may be East Asia tomorrow.
The outcome was that, as you pointed out in your question to me just now, the G7 agreed to launch a new framework for providing loans to Ukraine in order to support Ukraine, and moreover, the G7 all concurred that we must respond stringently to attempts by actors in third-party countries to evade or circumvent sanctions against Russia.
As for responding rigorously to attempts to evade or circumvent sanctions, I explained that Japan is now considering a new package of sanctions, including measures to be taken against entities in third-party countries such as China. We expect that by taking measures while engaging in cooperation of this kind, we will intensify the effects of sanctions against Russia.
Another point on which Japan placed particular emphasis besides what you mentioned in your question is that the threat of nuclear weapons by Russia, let alone the use of them, should never be tolerated. Japan emphasized this point, and I regard the G7 as having shared a common recognition regarding this matter as well. We were fully aligned in condemning in the strongest terms Russia's irresponsible threats to deploy nuclear weapons and other rhetoric.
(Regarding the session on the Indo-Pacific, economic coercion and the issue of overcapacity in particular were discussed with China in mind, with each G7 leader expressing concerns; on Prime Minister Kishida's views on whether or not a unified message was sent out, in light of the differences in how the various G7 member countries view China)
As for our discussions on the Indo-Pacific, I myself participated as the lead speaker. After overviewing the situation in the Indo-Pacific, I emphasized that it was necessary for the G7 to continue to take up this matter of the Indo-Pacific region as a priority issue. Then, after an in-depth discussion, the G7 leaders agreed on two items, the first being the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific, and the other being that any unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force would be unacceptable.
I consider it a very important point that the G7 confirmed we will continue to work in close cooperation in addressing the various issues surrounding China as well as matters concerning North Korea, including the nuclear and missile issues and the abductions issue.
During that same session, alongside these discussions on the Indo-Pacific region, we deliberated the topic of economic security. Regarding this matter as well, during our discussions, I was asked once again to speak, and I outlined Japan's stance, including with regard to the overcapacity issue and economic coercion. In this way we took up the topic with Japan leading the discussions on economic security as well.
This resulted in leaders expressing their concerns regarding China's non-market policies and practices that lead to market-distortive overproduction and the G7 sending out a unified message on strengthening our cooperation in this area. I consider that quite important in light of the current state of affairs. I also regard as significant the G7's confirmation that in the future, we will continue to act in cooperation as we respond to economic coercion, boost our supply chain resilience, and protect critical and emerging technologies.
This summit was significant in that, first of all, we faithfully carried forward the outcomes of last year's G7 Hiroshima Summit, and in that the G7 leaders reaffirmed that we will act united in our responses to the challenges facing the international community. Moreover, on the sidelines of the G7 summit, I held summit meetings with three countries and had informal discussions and standing conversations with the leaders of 18 countries and organizations. Looking back at the G7 Apulia Summit, it was also a significant meeting because we as the G7 reconfirmed our cooperation with partners beyond the G7, including countries in the Global South.

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