Tokyo, 7 January 2022 (TDI): The Foreign Minister of Japan, HAYASHI Yoshimasa held a telephonic dialogue with Antony Blinken, Secretary of State of the United States of America. The two discussed issues pertaining to mutual interest.

The two reiterated that Japan and the US will continue to work together to strengthen the alliance between Japan and the US for mutual benefit, in particular, the realization of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific”.

Discussion between Japanese Foreign Minister & US Secretary of State

Foreign Minister Hayashi strongly urged Secretary Blinken to enforce measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in the light of recent infection status among the personnel of US Forces in Japan (USFJ).

These would include placing restrictions on off-base activities for the purpose of alleviating local unease. In response, Secretary Blinken stated that the health and safety of USFJ personnel, as well as that of the local Japanese residents, is of utmost importance for the US.

In addition to that, Antony Blinken also declared that he would communicate Japan’s message to the US Department of Defense so as to work closely with the Japanese government to do everything possible to prevent the proliferation of the virus.

Aside from that, the two officials also discussed regional affairs related to North Korea, Russia, and Ukraine. Recently, North Korea conducted a missile test. The Japanese Foreign Minister on his part pointed out that such activities potentially threaten the peace and stability of the region.

The two also exchanged views on continuing to work closely for the complete denuclearization of North Korea in accordance with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

Moreover, Secretary Blinken also shed light on the current situation regarding Ukraine and Russia. The two affirmed that Japan and the US will persist to jointly collaborate in response to the current regional situation.