Arab News Japan
Newly elected prime minister Yoshihide Suga gave a speech on Friday at the 75th United Nations General Assembly session, making his debut on the world stage.
Suga addressed the coronavirus pandemic, calling on the UN to “leave no one’s health behind.”
He added: “We need to safeguard lives from the novel coronavirus diseases. Japan fully supports the development of therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics, and works towards ensuring fair and equitable access for all, including those in developing countries. Japan also works with international organizations so that relevant international frameworks will be able to deliver results. We are also proposing a framework of ‘patent pooling.’ Public-private partnership is essential particularly in the health sector, and Japan is going to promote it steadfastly.”
Suga said Japan “is implementing the COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan of up to 500 billion Japanese Yen or 4.5 billion USD over the course of two years. Reviving the economy rests on the safe movement of people.”
“Free trade should not stop even with the restrictions caused by the crisis. We continue to promote WTO reform and economic partnership agreements with other countries,” he explained.
The Prime Minister said Japan was “determined” to host the Tokyo 2020 Olympics next summer “as proof that humanity has defeated the pandemic.”
Suga added that he will make all efforts to welcome guests from around the world and make them feel “safe and secure.”
The Japanese PM also stated he was ready to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in order to resolve tensions between the two countries. Suga said he was determined to solve the North Korean abduction issues.
“The issue of abductions by North Korea is a matter of serious concern for the international community,” he said. “I myself have worked on this issue for many years.”
17 Japanese nationals were identified as having been abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 80s, with only two of their parents still alive.
“This year, two parents of the victims passed away,” Suga said. “It is heartbreaking to imagine the pain of the family members who passed, after working so hard to rescue their dearest children and yet not achieving a reunion in the end,” Suga said.
In a telephone talk on Thursday, Suga and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres affirmed the two sides’ cooperation on a variety of issues, including the new coronavirus pandemic.
Japan’s Foreign Minister called for reform of the UN Security Council on Tuesday. He also reiterated the country’s willingness to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, world leaders are making their speeches through video for the 75th UN session, which began on Sept. 22 and will run until Sept. 29.
World leaders who have already given their speeches include Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and US President Donald Trump.
King Salman called for the disarming of Hezbollah in order for Lebanon to achieve security, stability and prosperity.
He also said the Kingdom supports all efforts aimed at advancing the peace process between Palestine and Israel.