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Japan's PM says 'China is a central challenge' for both Canada and Japan

Japan's PM says 'China is a central challenge' for both Canada and Japan

China's aggression in the Indo-Pacific region was a key topic of discussion Thursday for Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during his meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Kanji Yamanouchi,
 Japan's Ambassador to Canada, joins Power & Politics to weigh in on Canada's Indo-Pacific strategy and the concerns regarding China.

Japan's prime minister fumio kishida met

with prime minister Justin Trudeau today

making it the first visit by an Asian

head of government since the launch of

Canada's indo-pacific strategy while

several topics were on the agenda

China's aggression in the indo-pacific

region appeared to be on the top of mind

for Japan's leader

for Japan and Canada and China is a

central challenge that is my awareness

and with regard to various issues

regarding China that we would close the

liaise and coordinate there are areas

which we need to work with China but

there are other areas in which we're

going to have to compete with China and

other areas in which we're going to have

to directly contest China whether it's

on human rights whether it's on respect

for international rules and the

rules-based order

kanji yamanochi is Japan's ambassador to

Canada he joins me now Ambassador thanks

so much for coming thank you very much

for having me here I I'd like to start

with the issue of China that the Prime

Minister raised his visit comes at a

time when China and North Korea they're

building up their military capacity

expanding their missile capacity your

country is building up your military

spending in that context does Japan feel

supported by its allies like Canada and

the United States yes

um that's that's absolutely right when

we see the award today geopolis

political situation we see the one thing

that is the certain unilateral attempts

unilateral attempts to change status quo

by utilizing a force and that should not

be accepted it's never accepted

acceptable then the Prime Minister just

mentioned when we see the world and we

see Ukraine what's happening in Ukraine

and also if you see South China Sea and

the east of China Sea we see a mini

attempts to change status quo by using

force or by using

intimidation of the force so now the

time for the Prime Minister kishida just

mentioned to have the cooperation with

like-minded countries and allies like

Canada your prime minister warned uh

very recently that today it's Ukraine

tomorrow it could be East Asia is he

speaking primarily there about a country

like Taiwan or is he speaking more

broadly about Japan he just mentioned

what's happening in Ukraine could be

Could Happen anywhere in the world but

we are located in in the Far East then

we take a look at the alarm we see North

Korea last year alone the North Korea

conducted more than 30 times missile

testing they launched more than 50

missiles so that is a political

geopolitical situation down there and

when we see China we we saw them

increasing their defense spending very

rapidly but no transparency we don't

know why they are doing and also when we

we see the certain sort of military

cooperation between China and Russia in

near in our sort of area that is very

very uh

source of the source of the consent

Canada has been accused of not really

being a reliable partner in the

indo-pacific region for a lot of years

no no I'm not saying you're saying it

but but in response to that they've

launched their new indo-pacific strategy

so given that context that you've just

laid out of China Russia North Korea and

those challenges that are there are you

satisfied with the new path that Canada

is plotting in the region I think so we

saw the uh Canadian indo-pacific

strategy fast timing its history and I

know that in the process there are so so

much discussion and deliberation but

after the final con product of the

Canadian indo-pacific strategy the

Japanese government to welcome it and

coincidentally the Japanese government

also issued its National Security

strategy December and if you remember

foreign minister jury paid official

visit to Tokyo October then Japanese

foreign minister Hayashi and Canadian

foreign minister jury uh

jointly issued what we call Action Plan

contributing to free and open in the

Pacific which contains six priority

areas like a peacekeeping rule of law

global warming and also critical

minerals so there are so many things uh

Canada and Japan work together in that

context well one of the things you want

to work together on is liquid natural

gas right now your country is in a

similar situation that Germany found

itself in relying on Russia very heavily

for energy supplies I didn't hear a lot

of new things on the LNG front from the

prime ministers today I mean where are

we on that I mean can is Canada close to

being able to being a source of natural

gas for Japan I mean are you satisfied

every Energy Canada is a very very

important undertakings and of which took

place a couple years ago I'd say

inauguration ceremony prime minister

Trudeau came in came and he mentioned

this Energy Canada is one of the largest

private investment and in the history of

Canada and this is game changer and also

I've been hearing that sometime in the

middle of 1920s hopefully around 1925

everything will if everything goes well

20 25 20 25 right 20 25. well I'm hoping

that before the end of 20 2024 but yeah

this uh project is steadily going on

because people people criticize Canada

for being too slow on this and not being

able to help Germany in its current

situation and not really being at this

point able to right away start shipping

things to Japan but you're not one of

those critics it's very easy to

criticize anything but we know what's

happening and we know although the

participants are working so hard to make

this happen and this is also involved

with the fast Nations and we need the

understanding and support of them so

they are working so hard but I think

I've heard that the things are moving

steadily forward right so so your

country has assumed the leadership of

the G7 for this year and the prime

minister is traveling to the other G7

capitals to sort of take the temperature

and talk to the other leaders he was at

nato in Spain which is you know the

Japan is not in the North Atlantic yes

but he was from Hiroshima understands

well the the consequences of War I mean

what is his diplomatic Hope from this

tour he's doing of the other G7 capitals

and I think yeah the G7 the seven member

countries hosting each year but the

Japanese presidents is the only G7

Summit held in Asia right and this time

he chose venue Hiroshima it means a lot

and also if we see the world today

previous years G7 we didn't we didn't

have the uh

Ukraine yet right so now we see say a

pandemic

Ukraine and many attempts to change

status quo by using Force so now the

time for G7 countries come together to

work together to

to make sure that the international

order based upon rule of law so critical

and that is so important thing so prime

minister is telling to all those uh this

time he visited five countries namely

France Italy UK Canada and now here it's

by by this time he'll be in the United

States but talking these things so this

is so critical and I think prime

minister kishita is doing great job I

was at the last G7 in Ishima in Japan in

2016. and the agenda was much simpler

then than it is now right it was it was

a very different world so I mean what

what do you hope your country can

achieve during its presidency of the G7

that when that final communique is done

what do you think the big achievement up

to the December Germany was a president

so this January in the very two second

week so we have just started but prime

minister kishida sees the two two points

of view for the G7 Summit meeting one is

solidarity and the unity of G7 countries

especially for the importance of the

international order based upon rule of

law and free and open in the Pacific

that is more like the unity of our G7

countries but at the same time the world

is consists of more than 190 countries

so the prime minister kishita is very uh

sure that he have to work together with

other G7 countries to talk with global

South so to speak right we need to

understand and support of other

countries in Asia Africa Middle East and

Europe so I think that would be the very

very important part and of course and

also

think this way and after the pandemic

after the Ukraine so many countries

suffered of their food energy supply

chain that we the G7 countries are very

in a sense rich and blessed so we are

the country who need to help those

countries in need and Global South it's

kind of very important part so therefore

I would think the Prime Minister kishina

will talk about the development

assistance and also food food security

right and energy security and also

supply chain resilience and that is

something we can do for the sake of the

global South okay Ambassador it was

great to meet you thanks for coming in

today thank you very much


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