- DEFENSE & SECURITY
Japan Foreign Minister Underlines Country’s Commitment to ‘Contribute to Security’
13:44 JST, February 20, 2023
MUNICH — Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi on Saturday underlined Japan’s determination to play a role in protecting a free and open international order.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Hayashi said Japan would “contribute to regional security” by fundamentally strengthening its own defense capabilities, while emphasizing that the security of the Indo-Pacific and Europe are inseparable.
Hayashi explained that Japan had drastically changed its policy toward Russia in response to that country’s aggression against Ukraine, adding that Tokyo had imposed severe sanctions on Moscow.
“There are deep concerns that Ukraine’s today may be East Asia’s tomorrow,” Hayashi said, touching upon China’s increasingly hegemonic behavior. “Forceful, unilateral changes to the status quo by any region will not be tolerated.” He added: “In the Indo-Pacific, attempts to change the status quo by force continue in the East and South China Seas, and military activities around Japan are increasing.”
Referring to the growing military cooperation between China and Russia, Hayashi said, “This is the most severe and complicated security environment that Japan has faced since the end of World War II.”
Strengthening Japan’s defense capabilities to cope with this situation “will contribute to the security of the entire Indo-Pacific region,” Hayashi said. “Japan will accelerate its efforts to realize a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific.’”
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