Japanese Foreign Minister Kamikawa Plans to Visit North American, European Countries in January

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa

Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa has begun coordination for her visits to several countries, including the United States, Canada, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands in January.

In the United States, Kamikawa will meet with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington ahead of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s official visit planned in spring. At the meeting, Kamikawa plans to discuss opinions about international situations in Asia, the Middle East and Ukraine, among others to prepare for Kishida’s visit.

After taking the post of foreign minister in September, she visited New York and San Francisco to attend international conferences. But this will be her first visit to Washington.

In the northern European countries, Kamikawa will discuss the use of sea routes and the development of natural resources in the Arctic Sea. In the Arctic Sea, ice has been melting due to global warming, and thus international competition is intensifying over the exploration of new sea routes and other concerns. Kamikawa is believed to be planning to clarify the Japanese government’s stance about the issues in the countries she visits.

In the Netherlands, Kamikawa will visit the Hague, where the International Criminal Court that handles war crimes is located. Kamikawa will likely emphasize the importance of maintaining and strengthening international order based on the rule of law.