Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Calls for Nations to Overcome Ideological, Value Differences to ‘Protect Human Dignity’ at Tokyo Global Dialogue

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at the 5th Tokyo Global Dialogue in Minato Ward, Tokyo, on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stressed the need for cooperation among countries at an international symposium held in Tokyo on Wednesday.

“We are facing the most severe and complex security environment since the end of World War II,” he said. “Each country must work together, overcoming ideological and value differences, to protect human dignity and improve the common future of humanity.”

Kishida spoke on the first day of the two-day event, organized by the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA), titled “The 5th Tokyo Global Dialogue.”

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa speaks at the 5th Tokyo Global Dialogue in Minato Ward, Tokyo, on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa also delivered her remarks at the event, Regarding Russia’s aggression to Ukraine, Kamikawa said: “Our country will never accept any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo by force. That is why Japan reiterates its firm commitment to supporting Ukraine.”

Also on Wednesday, a roundtable discussion was held among scholars and former officials, including former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt.

On Monday, the Hungarian parliament approved Sweden’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Roundtable moderator Kenichiro Sasae, JIIA president and former Japanese ambassador to the United States, congratulated Bildt, prompting applause in the venue.

With Sweden entering NATO, Bildt said that cooperation between NATO and the European Union will be “significantly facilitated.”

He said, “While NATO is a military alliance, the EU is a security alliance. When you have the two of them able to cooperate more, that significantly strengthens NATO and strengthens the EU.”

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Participants at the 5th Tokyo Global Dialogue roundtable discussion in Minato Ward, Tokyo, on Wednesday.

The JIIA has been publishing its Strategic Annual Report since 2019. It recently published its Strategic Annual Report 2023 with the theme of “A World in Turmoil: How Can We Rebuild International Security and Cooperation?”

Regarding the war in Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas conflict and the security situation in Asia — including China’s attempt to forcibly change the status quo and North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs — the JIIA report said that the United States and the world are facing “three fronts.”

It said that if the perception arises that the United States is incapable of adequately dealing with matters on the Asian front due to expending its resources on other fronts, “those challenging the status quo may take advantage of the anxiety of parties in the region or may mistakenly act on this very perception to embark on aggressive actions.”

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Shoichi Oikawa, representative director and chairman of the board of The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings, speaks at the reception of the 5th Tokyo Global Dialogue on Wednesday in Tokyo.

Later on Wednesday at the reception of the event, Shoichi Oikawa, one of the directors of the JIIA and representative director and chairman of the board of The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings said: “Until now, Japan has been a beneficiary of the international order. From now on, Japan must actively participate as a rule-making member of the international order. For Japan to fulfill such a role, I think it is important for Japan to have an accurate perception and judgment of the international situation. To this end, the role of think tanks, or to put it another way, the role of JIIA has become more important.”