Kishida Off to Indonesia, India for ASEAN-Linked, G-20 Summits

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is seen ahead of his departure at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on Tuesday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday left for Indonesia and India for a series of high-profile meetings.

He is slated to attend summits related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Jakarta and a summit of the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies in New Delhi.

“I hope that participants at the ASEAN-linked summits will have in-depth talks on regional and global issues,” Kishida told reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office ahead of his departure.

“At the G-20 summit, I want to work closely with India, this year’s G-20 chair, to hold thorough discussions utilizing the outcomes from talks among the Group of Seven advanced countries,” he added.

Japan holds this year’s G-7 presidency. Kishida chaired the G-7 summit in the western Japan city of Hiroshima in May.

Japan and ASEAN will hold a special summit in Tokyo in December to mark the 50th anniversary of their friendship and cooperative ties.

Kishida hopes to confirm with ASEAN leaders the deepening of the Japan-ASEAN relations at their Jakarta meeting Wednesday, with a view to laying the groundwork for a new vision of cooperation to be adopted at the special summit.

At a summit among Japan, China, South Korea and ASEAN member states Wednesday, Kishida and Chinese Premier Li Qiang may clash over the release of tritium-containing treated water from the disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station in northeastern Japan.

The water is diluted with seawater to substantially lower concentrations of tritium, a radioactive substance, before being released into the Pacific Ocean.

“We will explain the water release in a transparent manner so that we can obtain understanding and cooperation for our country’s efforts,” Kishida said.

On whether he will hold a bilateral meeting with Li, Kishida said, “No decision has been made at present.” China strongly opposes the ocean release of the treated water from the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. plant, which was severely damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

At the G-20 summit Saturday and Sunday, Kishida will focus on food security in emerging and developing countries affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, aiming to send out a unified message with other participants.

During the tour of Indonesia and India, Kishida is also slated to hold bilateral meetings with leaders of the host nations and other countries. He is slated to return home Monday.