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Speeches and Statements by the Prime Minister

Presidency Press Conference by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Following the G20 Osaka Summit

June 29, 2019

[Provisional Translation]

On Saturday, June 29, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a Presidency press conference at the G20 Osaka Summit for approximately 25 minutes from 2:50 p.m. The overview of the press conference is as follows.

It was a great pleasure to welcome leaders from around the world to Osaka and host the G20 Summit in Japan, which held the G20 presidency for the first time.

“The world can unite.”

I made my best efforts as President of the summit with such conviction. It is difficult to find instant solutions to various challenges. Nevertheless, at this year’s Summit, we were able to demonstrate to the world, the strong will of the G20 countries in many fields.

I was focused on one thing: to lay out a sustainable growth path towards future which is beneficial to all countries.

The world economy still faces downside risks due to trade tensions. The G20 shared the determination to take further actions and lead strong economic growth while paying attention to such circumstances.

Amid deepening in globalization, concerns and dissatisfaction over the rapid changes are generating even interstate conflicts. In response to concerns over the precarious postwar free trading system, we need to firmly set out principles that will guide the world economy going forward.

Free, fair, non-discriminatory. Open markets, level playing field. At this G20 Summit, we were able to explicitly confirm such fundamental principles of free trade.

Meanwhile, the reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is unavoidable. It is the reality that the WTO has not necessarily been able to adapt to recent developments, including globalization and digitalization.

In an era of rapid evolution of Big Data, artificial intelligence (AI), and the fourth industrial revolution, we need to create new rules on data—a source of added value. This was an important theme at this year’s summit.

At this Summit, together with many leaders, including President Trump, President Xi Jinping, and President of the European Council Juncker, we declared the launch of the “Osaka Track,” a process that aims to promote rule-making under the “Data Free Flow with Trust” concept.

We will speedily advance international rule-making to ensure cross-border data free flow while protecting privacy and security. This will no doubt breathe new life into the WTO reform process.

The G20, which accounts for 80% of the world economy, has a major responsibility towards sustainable growth. Global environmental issues cannot be tackled by the efforts of some countries alone, and must be addressed jointly by the world.

Building on the work done by the G20 Hamburg Summit two years ago and the G20 Buenos Aires Summit last year, it is important that the world take action together to achieve a virtuous cycle of the environment and growth. It is highly significant that the G20 was able to share this view at this Summit.

Marine plastic litter is another issue which cannot be resolved by some countries alone. Under such circumstances, the fact that the G20 was able to unite and share the “Osaka Blue Ocean Vision,” which aims to reduce additional pollution by marine plastic litter to zero by 2050, represents a major step forward towards resolving this issue.

We also agreed on a concrete implementation framework for achieving this vision. Japan will fully leverage its technologies and experience to support waste management and human resources development in developing countries and contribute to the global efforts to address this issue making the most of its characteristics.

Solutions to various issues facing the international community can be found when leaders speak to each other directly. This can also move the process forward for resolving interstate issues.

Taking this opportunity of the Summit, I myself will hold meetings with more than 20 leaders. Today, after this press conference, I will hold a summit meeting with President Putin of Russia.

At my summit meeting with the European Union (EU), significant developments were made towards easing restrictions on safe agricultural and fishery products from Tohoku. I would like to once again express my appreciation to the many countries that support the reconstruction of the affected areas.

With regards to the U.S.-China trade friction, which is a matter of significant concern to the world, I had discussions with President Xi two days ago and with President Trump yesterday. I stated that it is extremely important that the world’s largest and second largest economic powers build stable economic relations through constructive discussions.

Countries can move closer to agreement regarding such trade frictions and regional affairs if leaders take this opportunity of the G20 Summit to meet with each other directly and hold frank discussions. Japan will fulfill this role as much as possible.

While globalization supports economic growth, it also in turn widens disparities. The G20 must address this squarely and ensure that the fruits of growth reach all corners of society.

Education enhancement is the greatest key to sustainable economic growth. I confirmed with the other G20 leaders our determination to aim for a world where all girls can have access to quality education for at least 12 years.

Japan will continue to play a role in expanding girls’ and women’s education in developing countries. Japan will provide opportunities for quality education and human resources education to at least four million women in developing countries for over three years by 2020.

In this world where emphasis tends to be overly placed on confrontations, we look for common grounds and points of agreement. Under an approach unique to Japan, at this Osaka Summit, the G20 unites and sends a strong message regarding global issues. This has provided a major impetus towards concrete actions.

Last but not least, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the people of Osaka for their tremendous cooperation for holding this summit. Thank you very much for welcoming us with warm hospitality unique to Osaka, a city of humanity.

That is all from me.

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