PRIME MINISTER KISHIDA: (As interpreted.) Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. President Biden, Prime Minister Modi, Prime Minister Albanese: I am delighted to welcome my friends to Tokyo.
In particular, I thank Prime Minister Albanese. Welcome to Tokyo. I would like to offer him my sincere congratulations for assuming the post of prime minister, and thank you very much for flying over to Japan right after the election.
Since last year, with Joe taking the leadership, our four countries were able to meet from time to time at the leaders’ level. Japan is taking over the baton this year, and I am truly happy that this time we are able to hold the Quad Summit in Tokyo.
A grave incident which has fundamentally shaken the rule-of-law-based international order we value has happened since we met last September. Russian invasion into Ukraine squarely challenges the principles which are enshrined in the United Nations Charter. We should never, ever allow a similar incident to happen in the Indo-Pacific.
Because of the harsh reality unfolding, it is extremely significant for us to get together and show to the international society the four countries’ solidarity and our firm commitment toward the shared vision of free and open Indo-Pacific.
Today, as we meet in person, I am looking forward for a candid exchange of views on global and regional situations.
At the same time, I must say that without walking in step with the countries in the region, we cannot secure success for the Quad either. We should therefore listen carefully to the voices of the countries in the ASEAN, South Asia, as well as the Pacific Island countries so as to further advance cooperation conducive in solving urgent issues facing the region.
During this meeting, I wish to clarify the concrete progress of broad-based practical cooperation that we have worked so far and also to discuss on new areas of cooperation such as assisting in regional climate change countermeasures, maritime domain awareness, as well as humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
Now, first of all, may I invite Prime Minister Albanese to speak, please?
PRIME MINISTER ALBANESE: Well, Prime Minister Kishida, President Biden, and Prime Minister Modi: Firstly, can I thank you for your sincere congratulations on my election as Australia’s 31st prime minister. It is an honor that this is my first act as prime minister to attend this important Quad Leaders Meeting here in Japan.
And as we gather today, I acknowledge all that the Quad has achieved, standing together for a free, open, and resilient Indo-Pacific region and working together to tackle the biggest challenges of our time, including climate change and the security of our region.
My government is committed to working with your countries, and we are committed to the Quad. The new Australian government’s priorities align with the Quad agenda, taking action on climate change and building a stronger and more resilient Indo-Pacific region through better economic security, better cybersecurity, better energy security, and better environmental and health security.
Our cooperation is built on the values that we share: a commitment to representative democracy, the rule of law, and the right to live in peace.
Today, we look ahead to the work we’re yet to do. As the Indo-Pacific is reshaped, our Quad partnership is needed now more than ever to meet the challenges and threats of a less certain world; to shape that world for the better; and build a stronger, more cooperative Indo-Pacific region that respects sovereignty.
The region is looking to us to work with them and to lead by example. That’s why my government will take ambitious action on climate change and increase our support to partners in the region as they work to address it, including with new finance.
We will act in recognition that climate change is the main economic and security challenge for the island countries of the Pacific.
Under my government, Australia will set a new target to reduce emissions by 43 percent by 2030, putting us on track for net zero by 2050.
We have had a change of government in Australia, but Australia’s commitment to the Quad has not changed and will not change. And our commitment to ASEAN and its centrality has not changed.
My government has already committed to a greater focus on Southeast Asia, including the appointment of a special envoy for the region and $470 million in additional foreign aid over the next four years. This is in addition to our increasing assistance to the Pacific by over half a billion dollars, deepening our defense and maritime cooperation and using the power of proximity to strengthen our partnerships.
We will bring more energy and more resources to securing our region as we enter a new and more complex phase in the Pacific’s strategic environment. And we will continue to stand with you, our likeminded friends. And collectively, we will continue to stand up for each other.
We will stand firm on our values and our beliefs on what we know will enhance the stability and prosperity of our region and what is firmly in the interests of all those who call the Indo- Pacific home.
I’m honored to be among such close friends of Australia to take these next steps with you to pursue positive and practical ways to support a free, open, and resilient Indo-Pacific.
I look forward to strengthening our Quad partnership, starting with a productive meeting today. And I’m delighted to hand over to Prime Minister Modi.
PRIME MINISTER KISHIDA: (As interpreted.) Thank you very much, Prime Minister Albanese. May I now ask the Prime Minister Modi to speak?
PRIME MINISTER MODI: (As interpreted.) Your Excellencies — Prime Minister Kishida, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and President Biden.
Prime Minister Kishida, thank you very much for your wonderful hospitality. I am very pleased to be among friends today in Tokyo.
First of all, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, my heartfelt congratulations to you on your electoral victory. Your being here with us within just 24 hours of your swearing-in demonstrates the strength of our friendship within the Quad and your commitment to it.
Excellencies, the Quad group has made an important place for itself on the global stage in a very short time today. The scope of the Quad has increased and also it is more influential. Our mutual trust, our determination are giving democratic forces a new energy and enthusiasm.
At the Quad level, mutual cooperation is encouraging a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, which is a shared objective for all of us.
Despite the difficult circumstances of COVID-19, we have increased mutual coordination in several areas such as vaccine delivery, climate action, supply chain resilience, disaster response, and economic cooperation. This is ensuring peace, prosperity, and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Quad is moving forward with a constructive agenda for the Indo-Pacific region. This will continue to strengthen the image of the Quad as a force for good.
Thank you very much.
PRIME MINISTER KISHIDA: (As interpreted.) Thank you very much, Prime Minister Modi.
May I now invite President Biden. Joe, please.
PRESIDENT BIDEN: Thank you very much. It’s wonderful to be together with friends and — at this transformative moment in the world, and we are at a transformative moment.
Prime Minister Kishida, I want to commend you for the extraordinary leadership that, over the past few months, you’ve shown and for the gracious way in which you’ve hosted all of us.
And, Prime Minister Modi, it’s wonderful to see you again in person. The — and I thank you for your continuing commitment to making sure democracies deliver, because that’s what this is about: democracies versus autocracies. And we have to make sure we deliver.
Prime Minister Albanese, I welcome you to your first Quad meeting. Like I said, you got on a plane — you were sworn in and got on a plane. And I’m — if you fall asleep while you’re here, it’s okay. (Laughter.) Because I don’t know how you’re doing it. But — (laughs) — it is really quite extraordinary. Just getting off the campaign trail as well.
Congratulations on your election. As I told when you won — I called you — that we greatly appreciate your commitment of being here so soon after taking office.
Quad leaders met for the first time just over one year ago. It seems longer, but, to date, our partnership is central to achieving our goals and critical for the foundation of our continuing cooperation, in my view.
We already accomplished a great deal, as was referenced earlier: cooperating on COVID-19 response and health security — more to do, to state the obvious; partnering on 5G and technology supply chains, technology standards setting; and launching our — our Quad Fellowship Program, which I think can make a difference, which we talked about earlier.
At the same time, we’re navigating a dark hour in our shared history. The Russian brutal and unprovoked war against Ukraine has triggered a humanitarian catastrophe. And innocent civilians have [been] killed in the streets, and millions of refugees are internally displaced as well as exiled.
And this is more than just a European issue; it’s a global issue. The fact is that what — if you turn on the television and you’ll see what Russia is doing now, it appears to me that Putin is just trying to extinguish a culture. He’s not even aiming at military targets anymore; he’s taking out every school, every church, every — every natural history museum as if to try to obliterate the Ukrainian culture. And the world has to deal with it, and we are.
The global food crisis is made worse by Russia’s blocking Ukraine from exporting its millions of tons of grain. And also, as long as Russia continues the war, the United States will work with our partners to help be the global response, because it’s going to affect all parts of the world.
At the same time, the United States must and will be strong, steady, and an enduring partner in the Indo-Pacific. We are in the Indo-Pacific — we are — we are an Indo-Pacific power.
I was once asked by — well, I won’t go into it. But I was once asked by the leader of China why I kept talking about being an Indo-Pacific power. And I said, “Because we are. We share the Pacific — one entire side of our country.” And we have been deeply involved with all of you for a long time.
As long as Russia continues this war, we’re going to continue to be partners and gle- — lead a global response.
And, you know, we’re an Indo-Pacific power, as I said. We’re going to stand with you, our close democratic partners. And we’re going to stand for the shared values that — and the shared vision we all have.
You know, shortly before Russia launched this invasion, my administration published our Indo-Pacific strategy to advance a free, open, connected, secure, and resilient Indo-Pacific.
Russia’s assault on Ukraine only heightens the importance of those goals — the fundamental principles of international order, territorial integrity and sovereignty, international law. Human rights must always be defended, regardless of where they’re violated in the world.
So, the Quad has a lot of work ahead of us. It’s — the fact of the matter is — and we’ve a lot of work to do keeping this region peaceful and stable; tackling this pandemic and the next one; and addressing the climate crisis, as referenced by our new colleague; ensuring that technologies of the future are governed according to our values — governed according to our values.
But a short time — in a short time, we’ve shown the Quad isn’t just a passing fad. We mean business. We’re here to get things done for the region. And I’m proud of what we’re building together. And I look forward to our vital partnership flourishing and for many years to come.
Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister.