Japan’s new FM promises ‘woman’s perspective’ to diplomacy

Tokyo, Sep 14 (EFE).- Japan’s new foreign minister Yoko Kamikawa promised on Thursday to bring a “woman’s perspective” to the diplomacy of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s administration.

“I am the first woman foreign minister (in Japan) in almost 20 years and I acknowledge (that) I have been offered the opportunity to serve an extremely important role,” Kamikawa said at a press conference on Thursday.

The 70-year-old Kamikawa, who has been justice minister three times in the past, praised the accomplishments of her predecessors, including Yoshimasa Hayashi whom she replaced, and promised to do her “utmost” in her new post.

“Former Minister Hayashi has achieved huge achievements, including responses to aggression of Ukraine and the G7 (in Japan this year). (…) I have to carry on the efforts of minister Hayashi and I will have to leverage my perspective as a woman,” Kamikawa said.

The new Japanese foreign minister will have her first big opportunity on the international stage next week, when the United Nations General Assembly is held in New York in the United States.

Kamikawa pledged to “fully” prepare to “demonstrate Japan’s presence on the big stage of the United Nations” and “endeavor to establish trust and confidence” with her counterparts from other countries using a “uniquely Japanese approach of diplomacy.”

When asked about the relations between Japan and China, strained by territorial disputes and Beijing’s growing militarism in the region and the start of the discharge of treated wastewater from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, Kamikawa said that Tokyo will stick to the position it has exhibited until now.

“We will firmly request China to act responsibly…and promote the establishment of (a) constructive and stable relationship” through efforts from both sides, she added.

Regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kamikawa said that Japan will continue to join the international condemnation and sanctions imposed on Moscow to exert pressure to bring about an end to the conflict, but added that, as neighbors with overlapping interests, she will make it a “priority” to resume suspended joint economic activities, especially those concerning the disputed Kuril Islands.

Kamikawa refrained from commenting on the outcome of the summit held between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Wednesday but pointed out that a potential arms agreement between their countries would be “a violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions that fully ban procurement of weapons and related supplies from North Korea.” EFE


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