July 12, 2023
On July 12, G7 leaders—who all participated in the NATO Summit held in Vilnius, Lithuania—came together and issued a “Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine.” At the announcement ceremony, which Ukrainian President Zelenskyy also attended, Prime Minister Kishida, speaking in his capacity as Chair of the G7, stated that he was pleased to announce the Joint Declaration.
In July 2023, Prime Minister Kishida attended the NATO Summit Meeting, following his participation last year as the first Japanese leader to attend the Summit. In addition to Japan, 31 NATO member countries, as well as major NATO partner countries and organizations, attended the Summit’s Partner Session. As the first representative of a partner country to speak, Prime Minister Kishida gave the following message.
The international community is facing a historical turning point due to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The security of the Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific are inseparable, and it is widely shared that the aggression against Ukraine is not only a European issue, but a global one. At the same time, we welcome the further increase in interest and engagement in the Indo-Pacific among our like-minded countries of the Euro-Atlantic area.
In this regard, today’s meeting is an important opportunity for like-minded countries of the Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific to strengthen their cooperation and demonstrate this to the international community. I once again salute the efforts of Secretary-General Stoltenberg and the Lithuanian government in organizing today’s meeting.
During my visits to Kyiv and Bucha in March of this year, I was reminded once again of the urgent need to put an end to Russian aggression as soon as possible. With this determination in mind, I held the G7 Hiroshima Summit in the A-bombed city of Hiroshima, where I openly discussed world peace and stability with the leaders of the G7, Ukraine, and invited countries, including the Global South. They agreed on the following four principles: 1) the principles of the UN Charter must be upheld; 2) conflicts should be resolved peacefully through dialogue and in favor of a just and lasting peace based on international law; 3) unilateral change of the status quo by force is not acceptable anywhere in the world; and 4) a free and open international order based on the rule of law must be upheld. The international community was able to reach consensus on these four principles. These are fundamental principles that the international community must unite and follow for peace, stability, and prosperity, and as the G7 Presidency, we will continue to do our utmost.
We need to further strengthen the international community’s cooperation to bring a just and lasting peace to Ukraine as soon as possible. It is also important to focus on issues such as food security and nuclear safety, which are of vital importance to the international community.
At the G7 Hiroshima Summit, we reaffirmed our commitment to strongly support Ukraine from all sides and to continue our severe sanctions against Russia. Japan has been providing humanitarian assistance, financial support, recovery and reconstruction assistance, and the provision of defense equipment, and will use the $30 million it has contributed to the NATO Trust Fund to provide the non-lethal equipment, such as the Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Detection Systems.
At the NATO Partner Session, future cooperation between NATO and the Asia-Pacific partners (AP4) and other organizations was discussed in light of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the increasingly severe security situation in the Indo-Pacific region.
Peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific is directly linked to the stability and growth of the Euro-Atlantic region and the lives of its people. Asian partner countries account for about 36% of the trade volume of European countries. As cooperation among like-minded countries across the region becomes increasingly important, we will further deepen dialogue and cooperation between AP4 and NATO. I condemn today’s launch of another Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) by North Korea, which undermines regional and international peace and security. The international community has to take resolute actions.
As the international security environment becomes more severe, the security base is rapidly expanding, and as the security environment is becoming more trans-regional, partners such as Japan and NATO, who share fundamental values and strategic interests, should further deepen their ties. I am pleased that we have agreed on a new cooperation document between Japan and NATO that will take Japan-NATO cooperation to new heights to meet the challenges of a new era. In addition to traditional areas, we will promote cooperation in new areas such as cyber, emerging disruptive technologies, space, and strategic communications, including responses to information operations, and actively consider specific cooperation activities in areas such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Japan will further strengthen cooperation with the like-minded countries gathered today to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law, in order to lead the world toward cooperation rather than division and confrontation, as the international community faces a turning point in history.
* The above speech was republished from the website of the Prime Minister’s Office of Japan: