The Japan-U.S. alliance is the cornerstone of Japan’s diplomacy and security and serves as the foundation for peace and stability not only in Japan but also in the Indo-Pacific region and the international community as a whole. While further deepening defense cooperation [with the United States], Japan will further enhance its ability to deter and respond by radically strengthening its posture to defend itself and by expanding (Japan’s) role [in the security alliance].
Japan hopes for a peaceful solution to the Taiwan issue through dialogue. This has consistently been our position. Japan confirmed this point at the bilateral summit in Washington in April this year. This is significant for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait in that it clarified the shared stance of Japan and the United States. As the security environment grows increasingly tense, it is natural for the government to take all possible measures, including the evacuation of Japanese nationals, so that it can respond to any situation (such as a Taiwan contingency).
The stability of U.S.-China relations is important for the international community. Drawing on its ties of trust with the United States, Japan hopes to call on China to fulfill its responsibilities as a major power. Regarding Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit to Japan, we are not at the stage of arranging a concrete itinerary. Moreover, Japan has not yet decided how it will handle the Beijing Winter Olympics. Some say I am “close to China.” As I perform my duties as foreign minister, I trust everyone will gradually see (that is not the case).
As the only country to have suffered an atomic bombing, Japan has a mission to lead the international community’s efforts to realize a world free of nuclear weapons. The 2022 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (to be held in New York next January) will be a valuable opportunity to make progress toward the elimination of nuclear weapons. As for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, we need to endeavor to involve nuclear powers.
Former Defense Minister Nakatani Gen has been appointed special adviser to the prime minister on human rights issues as part of the Kishida Cabinet’s efforts to emphasize universal values. I look forward to working closely with Mr. Nakatani to advance cross-ministerial initiatives.