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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko Before Their Meeting

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good afternoon, everyone.  It is truly a pleasure to welcome Foreign Minister Kamikawa here to the State Department, to Washington, to the United States.  Yoko, it’s so great to have you here.  We have been working very closely together over the past months in many different places around the world, but I’m particularly gratified to have the foreign minister here at the State Department today.

Our alliance, the alliance between Japan and the United States, is truly the cornerstone of peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.  But I think what we’ve seen in recent years, but especially over the last couple of years, is an alliance that has reached new heights where we are working together not only on a bilateral basis, not only on a regional basis, but genuinely on a global basis.  And this partnership for the United States is absolutely critical and deeply valued.  And fundamentally, it’s built on shared values, and we see that manifest itself every single day around the world.

We’re together in good times.  We’re together in challenging times.  And to that end, I want to again extend our condolences to the victims of the recent earthquake as well as to the incident at the airport and the collision at Haneda.  We’ve been pleased as friends, as partners, as supporters, to offer any assistance that we can.  We’ll continue to do so.  But we know Japan has been there for us in difficult moments, we are there for Japan, and we’re there together to deal with some of the most challenging issues that we have to deal with around the world, and we’re fortified – both of us – in the fact that we’re doing it together.

I’m looking forward to, as always, an important, timely discussion of alliance issues, of regional issues, of global issues.  And I also have to express tremendous admiration to the foreign minister for her extraordinary journey schedule – I looked at it – that’s taken her from Europe to the United States, back to Europe.  We’re glad to have you here today, Yoko.  Welcome.

FOREIGN MINISTER KAMIKAWA: Thank you.

(Via interpreter) Thank you very much for your words of warm welcome. This year – this is actually my first time to come visit you this year. (Inaudible) to talk about the next 12 months and beyond and have open discussion with you, Tony, that is very constructive. And I would like to thank you for your warm words of sympathy for the earthquake-struck Noto Peninsula, and in Haneda Airport there was a (inaudible) as well, and thank you very much for your words for that as well. Mr. Kishida is now leading the effort to resolve the situation and, of course, while the Noto Peninsula earthquake situation is still quite difficult, and thank you very much for your support.

Mr. Kishida is not here, so I am (inaudible) here. As the world reaches a turning point in history, U.S.-Japan alliance plays a significant role in addressing various challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, and this year again I look forward to having discussions with you, Tony, in various fora, including G7, to work together on all issues. Last year we were the chair for G7, and we carried out throughout the year. We think, I think that we have gained more understanding about each other, and we achieved great progress together, especially regarding the situation in Ukraine and this new development in Middle East. There is a lot of moving parts in the world, so in this new (inaudible) collaboration will be all the more important.

This is a very important meeting for the new year, and thank you very much for this opportunity to visit you. I’m very happy to be here and honored. I hope that our discussion will be fruitful today. Thank you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you.  Thanks, everyone.

Official news published at https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-and-japanese-foreign-minister-kamikawa-yoko-before-their-meeting-3/

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