Press Conference 20 May 2005

  1. Statement by the Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations on the agreement on the immediate cessation of hostilities between the Government of the Republic of Burundi and the National Liberation Forces (FNL)
  2. Upcoming visit to Japan by Prime Minister Lee Hsien-Loong of the Republic of Singapore
  3. Upcoming visit to Japan by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of Malaysia
  4. Upcoming visit to Japan by board representatives of the Japanese American National Museum
  5. Guests and National/Special Days of the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi Japan (21-27 May)
  6. Questions concerning upcoming visit by Vice Premier Wu Yi of the People's Republic of China
  7. Question concerning non-interference principle in Japan-China Joint Statement
  8. Question concerning interview with Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura in Nihon Keizai Shimbun
  9. Question concerning possible visit to Japan by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of the State of Israel
  10. Question concerning end of term of Japanese Ambassador to China Koreshige Anami
  11. Question concerning monetary donation for repair works of Japanese diplomatic installations damaged by demonstrations in China

  1. Statement by the Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations on the agreement on the immediate cessation of hostilities between the Government of the Republic of Burundi and the National Liberation Forces (FNL)

    Press Secretary Hatsuhisa Takashima: Good afternoon and thank you very much for coming to the briefing. Today, I would like to make several announcements before I take questions.

    The first announcement is on the situation in the Republic of Burundi, Africa.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement by the Press Secretary on the situation in Burundi, which says as follows:

    Japan welcomes the joint declaration issued on 15 May in Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania, by President Domitien Ndayizeye of the Republic of Burundi and President of Palipehutu-FNL Agathon Rwasa that they had reached agreement, after consultation for ceasefire, on immediate cessation of the hostilities.

    Japan highly appreciates the mediation efforts of the Tanzanian Government for peace in Burundi and also strongly expects the early conclusion of the ceasefire agreement and the realization of peace in Burundi as a whole.

    Related Information (Press Release)

  2. Upcoming visit to Japan by Prime Minister Lee Hsien-Loong of the Republic of Singapore

    Mr. Takashima: The second announcement is about the visit to Japan by Prime Minister Lee Hsien-Loong of the Republic of Singapore.

    Prime Minister Lee will visit Japan from 23 to 28 May. He will accompanied by Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yong-Boon Yeo. During his stay, Prime Minister Lee will meet with officials of the Japanese Government, including Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, to discuss bilateral issues as well as regional issues.

    Related Information (Japan-Singapore Relations)

  3. Upcoming visit to Japan by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of Malaysia

    Mr. Takashima: The third announcement is about the visit by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of Malaysia.

    Prime Minister Abdullah will visit Japan from 24 to 26 May. He will also meet with officials of the Japanese Government, including Prime Minister Koizumi, to discuss bilateral issues and issues of the region.

    Related Information (Japan-Malaysia Relations)

  4. Upcoming visit to Japan by board representatives of the Japanese American National Museum

    Mr. Takashima: The fourth announcement is also about visitors from abroad.

    The board members and representatives of the Japanese American National Museum in the United States of America, including Senator Daniel Inouye will visit Japan from 22 to 28 May.

    During their stay, Prime Minister Koizumi will greet them at the Prime Minister's Office and Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura will host a welcoming reception on 23 May. We hope that the visit of Senator Inouye and others will strengthen the ties between Japan and the Japanese-American community in the United States so that it will further promote closer relations between our two countries.

    Related Information (Japan-U.S. Relations)

  5. Guests and National/Special Days of the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi Japan (21-27 May)

    Mr. Takashima: The last announcement is about the visits of foreign dignitaries to the World Exposition in Aichi.

    The following guests are expected to visit Japan to attend the National Day events at the Expo site next week:

    Deputy Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Hisham Sharaf of the Republic of Yemen will visit Japan from 22 to 25 May to attend the National Day event on 23 May.

    President of the Portuguese Republic of Dr. Jorge Fernando de Sampaio will visit Japan from 21 to 28 May to attend the National Day event on 24 May.

    Vice President Rafael Francisco Alburquerque de Castro of the Dominican Republic will visit Japan from 24 to 29 May to attend the National Day event on 25 May.

    Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania Dr. Ali Mohamed Shein will visit Japan from 25 to 29 May to attend the National Day event on 26 May.

    Minister for Industry and Trade Sukhbaataryn Batbold of Mongolia will visit Japan from 25 May to 4 June to attend the National Day event on 27 May.

    Related Information (Press Release)

  6. Questions concerning upcoming visit by Vice Premier Wu Yi of the People's Republic of China

    Q: We hear that Vice Premier Wu Yi of the People's Republic of China is meeting with Prime Minister Koizumi early next week. Could you tell us which issues they are expected to focus on during their talks?

    Mr. Takashima: The schedule of the meeting is still being arranged, but we hope that Prime Minister Koizumi will meet with Vice Premier Wu Yi while she is in Tokyo. It is expected to be possibly on Monday.

    The issue of bilateral relations will certainly be a major agenda item for the meeting, but United Nations reform and others are likely to come up as topics. We hope that this meeting and also Vice Premier Wu Yi's visit to Japan will further strengthen the relations between Japan and China.

    Q: Are they also going to discuss any bilateral economic issues, including the gas projects in the East China Sea? Or, are they more likely to focus on the political issues?

    Mr. Takashima: There is the possibility that they will discuss various issues of a bilateral nature, including the issue of free trade agreement as well as maritime affairs and maritime research efforts. On the latter, the Japanese and Chinese Governments have already agreed to hold a consultative meeting later this month on the issue of maritime research such as underwater gas exploration.

    Related Information (Japan-China Relations)

  7. Question concerning non-interference principle in Joint Statement

    Q: Prime Minister Koizumi made a statement at the Diet hearing the other day on the issue of his visit to Yasukuni Shrine. Since Prime Minister Koizumi mentioned the non-interference principle in the Japan-China Joint Statement, does this mean that the Government of Japan regards the protests from China and the Republic of Korea as constituting an interference of Japanese domestic policies?

    Mr. Takashima: Prime Minister Koizumi merely stated that there was a mentioning of the non-interference in the Joint Communiqué issued in 1972 as well as other occasions. There was no reference of his visit to Yasukuni Shrine as a direct interference, or any interference, of domestic issues in Japan. Rather, Prime Minister Koizumi's basic policy on his visit to Yasukuni Shrine is that, as he has repeatedly stated, he would consider it in an appropriate manner. Therefore, we expect that the decision will be made by Prime Minister Koizumi after considerations in an appropriate manner.

    Related Information (Historical Issues)

  8. Question concerning interview with Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura in Nihon Keizai Shimbun

    Q: In the interview conducted by Nihon Keizai Shimbun the other day, Foreign Minister Machimura made a statement that Japan and the Russian Federation should show some sort of attitude toward compromise to resolve the various issues between the two countries. Does this mean that Japan is ready to show some compromise on the territorial issues, in particular the return of the Northern Islands?

    Mr. Takashima: What Foreign Minister Machimura intended to say and did say during the course of the interview is that if Japan and Russia were to stick to their principles, there would be no chance for the pending issues to be resolved. Therefore, Foreign Minister Machimura said that if both sides sincerely intend to resolve the pending issues between our two countries, especially the peace treaty issue including the territorial issue, then both sides must demonstrate a conscious attitude to make some sort of compromise. However, he did not mention anything specific about any change in Japanese policy vis-à-vis the territorial issues. These will be discussed thoroughly with Russia in the process of negotiation.

    Related Information (Japan-Russia Relations)

  9. Question concerning possible visit to Japan by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of the State of Israel

    Q: Regarding the visit to Japan by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of the State of Israel, is there an update on that? Is there any news about the schedule or confirmation of his visit?

    Mr. Takashima: The Japanese and Israeli Governments are still discussing the date and itinerary for Prime Minister Sharon's visit to Japan. The invitation still stands and we hope that Prime Minister Sharon will visit Japan, if not in May then in June.

    Related Information (Japan-Israel Relations)

  10. Question concerning end of term of Japanese Ambassador to China Koreshige Anami

    Q: Japanese Ambassador to China Koreshige Anami's term will be expiring soon. As for his replacement, there has been speculation that he will possibly be succeeded by Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Hitoshi Tanaka. Can you comment on that?

    Mr. Takashima: I would rather not comment on personnel change issues because it is our practice to refrain from making any comment.

  11. Question concerning monetary donation for repair works of Japanese diplomatic installations damaged by demonstrations in China

    Q: It has been reported that a donation of 3 million yen was made to the Japanese Foreign Ministry by a representative of the Chinese expatriate community in Kobe for the repair work of Japanese diplomatic installations that were damaged by the violent demonstrations in China. What happened to the donation check? Was the money accepted or returned to him?

    Mr. Takashima: I am aware of that episode and my understanding is that the Government is considering to return that money with a great amount of appreciation for his kindness, because the issue of repair of the damages is being discussed between the Japanese and Chinese foreign ministries.

    Related Information (Japan-China Relations)


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