FOREIGN MINISTER HAYASHI:  So first of all, I’m really glad to see you again here, Tony.  And let us use this opportunity to confirm the way forward to further strengthen our alliance.  And we must do this in light of the increasingly serious security environment that we are facing.

And the U.S. National Security Strategy made it clear that the U.S. will continue to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific.  So it also reaffirmed the unwavering commitments of the U.S. to defend Japan, including Senkaku Islands.  So the GOJ highly appreciate this.

On November the 3rd, North Korea launched multiple ballistic missiles, including a possible ICBM.  So also on November 2nd, one of the ballistic missiles launched by North Korea landed near ROK’s territorial waters.  The spare of ballistic missile launches – spate of ballistic missile launches, which unprecedented, is totally, totally unacceptable.

Regarding the situation in Ukraine, Japan would like to stay closely coordinated with the U.S. on support for Ukraine and sanctions against Russia.  Japan is seriously concerned that Russia is recently threatening that it may use nuclear weapons.  We will never tolerate such threats around the use of nuclear weapons.

So Prime Minister Kishida always delivers this message when he meets with leaders from other countries.  So we should also (inaudible).

Thank you again, Tony.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, Yogi, it’s as always wonderful to be with you.  We’ve had a good couple of days here with our G7 colleagues, but I always appreciate and benefit from our opportunities to speak directly together.  We have no better partner than Japan on virtually every issue confronting us, not just in the region but quite literally around the world.  And that starts with the remarkable support that Japan has provided for Ukraine, faced with the Russian aggression, the coordination in applying pressure to Russia to end this aggression, and the work that we continue to do in support of Ukraine humanitarially as well.

As you noted, we’ve also been facing together a series of provocative and dangerous actions by the DPRK, and we are absolutely united in the face of these actions, as well as with the Republic of Korea.  And it only reinforces our absolute commitment to Japan and Korea’s security, as well as our determination to work even more closely together to make sure that we are all properly defended, as well as taking necessary measures against these repeated violations by North Korea of its obligations to the international community through a series of UN Security Council resolutions.  So we are resolute in the face of this, and I know we’ll be talking about that as well.

But we also appreciate the work that we’re doing together to try to build a free and open Indo-Pacific, and we’re doing that together directly, we’re doing it through different arrangements and organizations, everything from IPEF to the Quad, and we’re grateful for that.

So as always, lots to talk about, and very good to be here.  Thanks.  Thank you, everybody.

U.S. Department of State

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