June 10, 2022
Prime Minister Kishida delivering a keynote address at the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue 2022. He explained that his administration will advance a “realism diplomacy for a new era.”
On June 10, 2022, Prime Minister Kishida delivered a keynote speech at the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s premier defense summit. In front of a number of defense ministers, as well as think-tank and media representatives from various countries, he announced that he would advance the five-pillar “Kishida Vision for Peace” with a view to maintaining and strengthening the peaceful order in the region, and that Japan would boost its diplomatic and security role to this end.
Since the pandemic broke out, the world has become even more uncertain. Amidst continuing economic disruption, we have come to recognize the importance of reliable and secure supply chains.
Then, as the world was still recovering from the pandemic, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine occurred. No country or region in the world can shrug this off as “someone else’s problem.” It is a situation that shakes the very foundations of the international order, which every country and individual gathered here today should regard as their own affair.
In the South China Sea, neither international law, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), nor the award rendered by the Arbitral Tribunal under this convention, is being complied with.
In the East China Sea, where Japan is located, unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force in violation of international law are continuing. Japan is taking a firm stand against such attempts.
Peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, which is located between these two seas, is also of extreme importance.
Unfortunately, much of activities not respecting people’s diversity, free will, and human rights is also taking place in this region.
Furthermore, North Korea is strengthening its nuclear and missile activities in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, posing a clear and serious challenge to the international community. It is deeply regrettable that the recently proposed Security Council resolution was not adopted as a result of the exercise of the veto. The abductions issue, which is a top priority for my administration, is also a serious violation of human rights.
At the root of all these problems is a situation in which confidence in the universal rules that govern international relations is being shaken. This is the essential and most serious underlying problem.
Japan is the world’s third largest economy and has consistently sought to bring about peace and prosperity in the region since the end of the Second World War, making contributions mainly in the economic field. Accordingly, the responsibility Japan must fulfill is heavy.
While focusing on universal values that everyone should respect and defend, we must firmly hold aloft the banner of our ideals for the future, such as a world without nuclear weapons, while also responding astutely and decisively as the situation demands. I am committed to “realism diplomacy for a new era” that adheres to this kind of thorough pragmatism.
In order to maintain and strengthen the peaceful order in this region, I will advance the “Kishida Vision for Peace” and boost Japan’s diplomatic and security role in the region by promoting the following five pillars of initiatives.
The first is maintaining and strengthening the rules-based free and open international order; in particular, we will press forward in bringing new developments towards a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.
The second is enhancing security. We will advance the fundamental reinforcement of Japan’s defense capabilities in tandem with reinforcing the Japan-U.S. Alliance and strengthening our security cooperation with other like-minded countries.
In May 2022, Prime Minister Kishida held a summit meeting with President Biden of the United States of America. They agreed to swiftly strengthen the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance in the face of the increasingly severe security environment of the region.
The third is promoting realistic efforts to bring about a world without nuclear weapons.
The fourth is strengthening the functions of the United Nations, including UN Security Council reform.
The fifth is strengthening international cooperation in new policy areas such as economic security.
In order to bring peace to the international community, it is imperative that we first press forward in maintaining and strengthening the rules-based free and open international order.
The rule of law serves as the foundation supporting this kind of international order. Alongside it are the peaceful resolution of disputes, the non-use of force, and respect for sovereignty.
On the sea, it is freedom of navigation, and in the economy, free trade.
Needless to say, respect for human rights is also critical, as is a democratic political system that reflects people’s free will and diversity.
Japan has been promoting a Free and Open Indo-Pacific with a view to maintaining and strengthening the rules-based free and open international order in this region.
Japan has consistently and vigorously supported the “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific” (AOIP), which ASEAN has developed as its own basic policy.
Looking around the world, a variety of actors have all laid out visions for the Indo-Pacific.
Sharing a common grand vision, like-minded partners are each taking action on their own initiative. This is the very concept of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, which is based on inclusiveness.
In particular, here in the Indo-Pacific region, collaboration with ASEAN is absolutely essential.
I would like to continue to work hand-in-hand with the leaders of ASEAN countries to deepen discussions on ways to ensure peace and prosperity in the region.
Along with ASEAN countries, Pacific Island Countries are also important partners for the realization of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. We will contribute to strengthening the foundation for their sustainable and resilient economic development, including addressing the existential challenge of climate change.
In addition to the ASEAN and Pacific Island Countries, Japan, Australia, India, and the U.S., also known as the Quad, is playing an important role in promoting a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. At the recent Quad Leaders’ Meeting in Tokyo, we confirmed that the Quad will seek to extend more than US$50 billion of further infrastructure assistance and investment in the Indo-Pacific over the next five years.
We intend to enhance existing Free and Open Indo-Pacific cooperation by beefing up our diplomatic efforts including by expanding our Official Development Assistance (ODA), while engaging in an optimized, efficient, and strategic use of international cooperation through ODA. I will lay out a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Plan for Peace” by next spring, which will strengthen Japan’s efforts to further promote the vision of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, with an emphasis on providing patrol vessels and enhancing maritime law enforcement capabilities, as well as cyber security, digital and green initiatives, and economic security.
In recent years, Japan has particularly been strengthening its maritime security efforts while utilizing advanced technologies such as satellites, artificial intelligence, and unmanned aerial vehicles, and will continue to share its knowledge and experience with other countries.
Second, I would like to talk about the role Japan should play in the realm of security.
In light of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, countries’ perceptions on security have drastically changed around the world.
Japan has also made the decision to shift its policy towards Russia and is united with the international community in efforts to impose strong sanctions against Russia and support Ukraine. As prime minister of the peace-loving nation Japan, I have a responsibility to protect the lives and assets of the Japanese people and to contribute to a peaceful order in the region.
We will set out a new National Security Strategy by the end of this year. I am determined to fundamentally reinforce Japan’s defense capabilities within the next five years and secure substantial increase of Japan’s defense budget needed to effect it.
In doing so, we will not rule out any options, including so-called “counterstrike capabilities,” and will realistically consider what is necessary to protect the lives and livelihoods of our people.
To all of you, I stress that Japan’s posture as a peace-loving nation will remain unchanged.
No country can ensure its security entirely on its own. That is why I will promote multilayered security cooperation with like-minded countries that share universal values, positioning the Japan-U.S. Alliance as the linchpin.
We will further reinforce the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance, which has become the cornerstone of peace and stability in not only the Indo-Pacific, but also the entire world.
At the same time, we will actively promote security cooperation with Australia and other like-minded countries.
We will continue to promote our efforts to conclude defense equipment and technology transfer agreements with ASEAN countries and materialize specific cooperation projects according to their needs.
Third, we will do our utmost towards achieving a world without nuclear weapons.
We must not repeat the scourge of nuclear weapons. The threat of nuclear weapons, let alone the use of them, should never be tolerated. As the prime minister of the only country that has suffered the devastation of atomic bombings, I strongly appeal for this.
Even before the Ukraine crisis, North Korea frequently and repeatedly launched ballistic missiles, including ICBM-class ones, and we have grave concerns that yet another nuclear test is imminent.
The return to compliance with the Iran nuclear agreement has not yet been realized.
I must admit that the path to a world without nuclear weapons has become even more challenging. It is, however, precisely because of this extremely difficult situation that I, prime minister with roots in Hiroshima, where an atomic bomb was dropped, have decided to speak out, work tirelessly to reverse the current situation, and contribute to any scale of improvement towards achieving a world without nuclear weapons.
The first meeting of the International Group of Eminent Persons toward a World without Nuclear Weapons will be held in late November in Hiroshima, one of only two places in the world to have been atomic-bombed, which is also the home city of Prime Minister Kishida. The photo shows the Atomic Bomb Dome and the Cenotaph for the Atomic Bomb Victims. The G7 summit is scheduled to be held in the city in May 2023.
Based on the relationship of trust we enjoy with the United States, our sole ally, Japan will press forward with realistic nuclear disarmament efforts.
Greater transparency of nuclear forces is what underpins such efforts. We call for all nuclear-weapon States to disclose information regarding their nuclear forces.
Together with countries concerned, we will encourage the US and China to engage in a bilateral dialogue on nuclear disarmament and arms control.
In addition, it is also key to bring back discussions on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT).
We will do everything to ensure that the NPT Review Conference in August, in which both nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear-weapon States will participate, achieves a meaningful outcome.
As the only country to have suffered the devastation of atomic bombings, Japan will seize every opportunity, including the upcoming “Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons,” to convey the stark realities of the atomic bombings to the world.
Furthermore, we will establish the “International Group of Eminent Persons for a world without nuclear weapons.” This group will enjoy the involvement of incumbent and former political leaders of various countries, and our plan is to hold its first meeting in Hiroshima this year.
With regard to North Korea, Japan, the United States, and the Republic of Korea will work closely together in the areas of regional security, deliberations at the United Nations, and diplomatic efforts, and Japan will furthermore act in cooperation with the international community as a whole.
Fourth, no time can be lost in reforming the United Nations, which should serve as the guardian of peace.
Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has engaged in an outrageous act that has shaken the very foundations of the international order, causing the United Nations to face a time of trial.
UN reform is not an easy task, given the complexity of the intertwined interests of various countries, but Japan, as a peace-loving nation, will lead discussions to strengthen the functions of the United Nations, including the reform of the UN Security Council. Japan will join the UN Security Council starting next year, and in the Security Council too we will work tirelessly. At the same time, we will also seek a way forward for global governance that responds to the new challenges of the international community.
Finally, I would like to discuss international cooperation in new policy areas such as economic security.
In the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, the vulnerabilities of the global supply chain have come to the fore.
The aggression against Ukraine has made us even more aware of the clear and urgent need to make our own economy more resilient, as it directly affects our everyday lives.
We will promote economic security initiatives to ensure the security of the nation and its people from an economic perspective.
In Japan, to address this challenge, the Economic Security Promotion Legislation was enacted under my leadership.
However, Japan cannot go at this alone; international cooperation is essential, including within frameworks of like-minded countries such as the G7.
Japan and ASEAN have long been building multilayered supply chains.
Japan will support more than 100 supply chain resilience projects over the next five years.
We will continue to promote economic cooperation based on the idea of human security, respecting the ownership of each country and the interests of its nationals.
To achieve prosperity in these difficult times, ASEAN, and the Indo-Pacific region, must remain the growth engine of the world. Japan will contribute to building resilient nations that can overcome any great or difficult challenges they may face.
The vision I have shared with you today, the vision of a rules-based free and open international order, is one in which we all work together. We will elevate a Free and Open Indo-Pacific to the next stage.
I firmly believe that if we do so, a future of peace and prosperity will surely await us— a bright and glorious world full of hope, where there is trust and empathy shared amongst us.