Japan's new FM Kamikawa hopes to build trust with global counterparts

Japan's new Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko says she hopes to build trust with her global counterparts at the UN General Assembly next week.

Kamikawa held her first news conference after assuming her post on Thursday.

She plans to visit New York next week to attend the UN General Assembly session and the G7 Foreign Ministers' meeting.

Kamikawa told reporters that she wants to thoroughly prepare for her visit, so that she can demonstrate Japan's presence at the United Nations and build a relationship of trust with her counterparts.

Kamikawa set out the three areas she will focus on as foreign minister: protecting the national interest by placing the Japan-US alliance at the core of national security; enhancing Japan's presence through its soft power, including scientific and technological capabilities and measures against infectious diseases; and listening to public opinion in carrying out diplomacy.

Regarding Japan-China relations, she said Japan will assert its position when needed and urge Beijing to act responsibly. She said that at the same time, Japan will continue to hold dialogue with China, including on issues of concern, and cooperate on matters of common interest.

Kamikawa also said it is important that both Japan and China make efforts to build constructive and stable relations.

In the handover ceremony at the ministry earlier on Thursday, the new minister said she wants to bring a female perspective to diplomatic policy.

Kamikawa is Japan's first female foreign minister in 19 years. Kawaguchi Yoriko held the post in Koizumi Junichiro's administration.

Kamikawa said she will further promote the diplomacy built by her predecessor, Hayashi Yoshimasa. She added that she wants to actively and quickly tackle the urgent tasks that Japan faces and steadily produce results through strong teamwork.

Outgoing minister Hayashi also spoke to more than 300 ministry employees at the ceremony. Hayashi said he believes he was able to properly carry out his job with the help of people at the ministry amid unprecedented developments, such as Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
He said he made sure that Japan didn't lose its way at this historic turning point for the world.