Prime Minister Fumio Kishida traveled to New York on Tuesday to deliver a speech at the United Nations General Assembly, with Japan calling for a rules-based international order amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s growing maritime assertiveness.
During the trip, Kishida also plans to meet with other leaders gathered for the Assembly’s week-long general debate session beginning the same day, including US President Joe Biden, diplomatic sources said.
“As the international order has been shaken by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, I will convey Japan’s positions, such as strengthening the role of the United Nations,” Kishida told the prime minister’s office ahead of his departure from Tokyo.
His remarks come amid growing concern over the dysfunctional UN Security Council since Russia, one of the five permanent members of the main body tasked with tackling threats to international peace, launched his invasion of Ukraine at the end of February.
Kishida could also hold talks with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in New York, as Tokyo and Seoul try to improve relations that have soured over the history of war and other issues.
In his speech at the UN session, Kishida is expected to call for a world without nuclear weapons. Japan will host the Group of Seven summit next year in Hiroshima, where its constituency is located.
The annual UN event comes amid the war in Ukraine and tensions around Taiwan, which has divided major democracies led by the United States, and Russia and China.
The G-7, made up of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and the European Union, imposed economic sanctions on the Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
China has stepped up its military activities in the Indo-Pacific region. It held large-scale live-fire exercises near Taiwan last month following a visit to the self-governing island by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
China, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province to be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary, opposes any official contact between the island and the United States.
The war in Ukraine revealed the dysfunction of the UN Security Council. Russia vetoed a US-led draft resolution condemning the invasion, with China abstaining from voting.
Kishida will call for strengthening the roles of the 193 UN members and reforming the 15-seat council, Japanese officials said.
To expedite the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Kishida is to host a leaders-level meeting of “Friends of CTBT” on Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nations Assembly, the officials said. Representatives from Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands will also be present.
Kishida also plans to give a speech on the New York Stock Exchange, officials say. It should launch a call for investment in Japan.
Kishida postponed his departure originally scheduled for Monday to monitor the damage caused by a strong typhoon in Japan.
Leave a Reply