On 14 April, Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan delivered a video message at the 7th Our Ocean Conference, which was held from 13 to 14 April in Palau.
“President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr. of Palau, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry of the United States, Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, I am KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan.
I am pleased that this conference is finally taking place in Palau, which is a special friend of Japan, in spite of the challenge presented by COVID-19.
Before getting into the main subject of the conference, I would like to refer to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Japan takes extremely seriously the fact that a large number of civilians in Ukraine have been killed as a result of the atrocious acts of the Russian forces, and is deeply shocked by this revelation.
The aggression against Ukraine is a serious violation of international law. It is totally unacceptable. This is a grave situation that shakes the very foundations of international order not only in Europe but also in Asia. Japan condemns the aggression in the strongest term.
Let me return to the main topic at hand today. Japan and the rest of the world benefit enormously from the wealth and prosperity of our vast and free oceans. It is essential to sustain these oceans as public goods that can contribute to providing peace and prosperity equally to all the people into the future. This can be achieved, I am convinced, if all the partners participating in this conference work together in solidarity.
In order to preserve our bountiful oceans, we cannot afford to lose any more time in tackling climate change. Toward the goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, Japan will lead the world’s response to climate change, through utilizing its experience and developing ocean-based wind power generation in Asia in the future.
With regard to the marine environment, Japan has taken the initiative on the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision, which aims to reduce additional pollution by marine plastic litter to zero by 2050. To enable the international community as a whole to implement viable measures against marine plastic pollution, Japan will continue to provide training for 10,000 officials engaging in waste management in developing countries by 2025, and take the leadership in the discussions toward a treaty to end plastic pollution.
Free, open, and sustainable oceans based on the rule of law are essential for the peace and stability of all regions on Earth. Regarding the Pacific island countries, Japan has hosted Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) every three years to promote cooperation in areas related to the oceans. In this connection, I am pleased to say that we had fruitful discussions with President Whipps and other Pacific Island leaders at the ninth summit (PALM9) last year.
In order to achieve a Free and Open Indo Pacific vision, Japan will remain committed to promoting its measures toward realizing a blue economy by building on its past record of cooperation with Palau and our other PALM partners, as well as stakeholders in the private sector. Thank you for your attention.”