Press Conference 8 July 2005

  1. Statement by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the bombing attacks in London
  2. Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura on the killing of Mr. Ihab El-Sherif, Egyptian Ambassador to Republic of Iraq
  3. Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura on the completion of Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration in the Islamic State of Afghanistan, and Japanese grant assistance to Afghanistan
  4. Visit by Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  5. Visit by Parliamentary Secretary Katsuyuki Kawai to the Russian Federation
  6. Guests of the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan
  7. Visit to Japan by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation Charles Murigande of the Republic of Rwanda
  8. Questions concerning the relationship between the People's Republic of Bangladesh and Japan
  9. Questions concerning visit to Japan by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
  10. Questions concerning terrorist attacks in London
  11. Questions concerning UN reform
  12. Questions concerning Japan-Russia relations
  13. Questions concerning Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the Group of 4 (G4)
  14. Follow-up questions concerning terrorist attacks in London

  1. Statement by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the bombing attacks in London

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

    First, on the terrorist attack in London I would like to give you some information. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi issued a statement at Gleneagles where he is staying to attend to Group of Eight (G8) Summit meeting in which he said as follows.

    The act of terrorism cannot be justified or accepted for any reason and Japan condemns such acts in the strongest possible terms. I support the measures taken by Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to cope with the situation and wish to offer any type of cooperation that the United Kingdom wishes to receive from Japan.

    Prime Minister Koizumi offered heartfelt condolences and sympathy to those who were victimized by this barbaric act. At the same time Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura sent a message of condolences to Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw of the United Kingdom on this terrorist attack and reiterated the Government of Japan's determination to fight against terrorism together with all members of the international community.

    Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda today met with Ambassador Graham Fry of the United Kingdom at the British Embassy in Tokyo to express his condolences and sympathy to the people and government of the United Kingdom.

    We have not received any information on the casualties among the Japanese expatriates or the Japanese tourists visiting London so far. The Japanese embassy in London is making the utmost effort to collect information as much as possible relating to the whereabouts and safety of Japanese in the city.

    Related Information (Prime Minister's Statement)

  2. Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura on the killing of Mr. Ihab El-Sherif, Egyptian Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq

    Mr. Takashima: Secondly, on the tragic killing of Ambassador Ihab El-Sherif of Egypt to Iraq. Foreign Minister Machimura issued a statement that says as follows.

    I was shocked to learn that the Egyptian Ambassador El-Sherif to Iraq was killed by terrorists. I wish to express heartfelt condolences to bereaved members of his family and Egyptian Government. Terrorism cannot be justified for any reason, and the Government of Japan strongly condemns the act of terrorism in the strongest possible terms.

    On this incident Prime Minister Koizumi sent a note of condolences to the President Hosni Mubarak of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and Foreign Minister Machimura sent his note to the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

    Related Information (Press Release)

  3. Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura on the completion of Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration in the Islamic State of Afghanistan, and Japanese grant assistance to Afghanistan

    Mr. Takashima: The next announcement is on the Afghan situation. Foreign Minister Machimura issued a statement to commemorate the ceremony on the completion of Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) in Kabul which was held 7 July. Foreign Minister Machimura said as follows.

    It is the first and great result in Afghanistan's reform efforts for the public order that, despite an extremely difficult situation, the DDR program has made progress resulting in the disarmament of about 60,000 ex-combatants. As Japan has led the support of the international community, together with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), it highly values the great effort of those concerned in the Government of Afghanistan, which has tackled this program and of the United Nations and Afghanistan's New Beginning Program (ANBP).

    Assistance to disarm and demobilize the ex-combatants for their reintegration will continue through June 2006. As many weapons still remain in the country it is an important task to break up illegal arms groups. Japan will therefore extend all possible assistance, because the backing of the international community for the efforts of the Government of Afghanistan is indispensable.

    To support the Government of Afghanistan with a grant for development, the Government of Japan decided to provide assistance in total of 34 million dollars or 3.7 billion yen to implement such projects as development of an agricultural village, empowerment of human resources, employment program through the public works, vocational training, construction of 32 schools, provision of vaccination of polio, tetanus, and tuberculosis for the 1.1 million babies, and reconstruction of the community in urban areas.

    Related Information (Press Release)

  4. Visit by Minister of Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

    Mr. Takashima: Next is the visit of Foreign Minister Machimura to the United Kingdom. Foreign Minister Machimura is visiting the United Kingdom from 8 to 10 July to attend the Foreign Ministers' Meeting of Group of Four (G4) - Japan, Germany, India, and Brazil - on the subject of the United Nations reform, especially the handling of the draft proposal of the reform of the Security Council which the G4 group presented to the UN Secretariat on 6 July.

    At the G4 Foreign Ministers' Meeting hosted by the Government of Brazil, participants will exchange views on the recognition of the current situation of the UN Security Council reform, taking account of the results of such meetings as the African Union (AU) Summit and the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) Summit Meeting, and on the future method of proceeding.

    Foreign Minister Machimura expects to meet with some of the African foreign ministers and the representatives with the other members of the G4 group while he is in London.

    Related Information (Press Release)

  5. Visit by Parliamentary Secretary Katsuyuki Kawai to the Russian Federation

    Mr. Takashima: The next statement is about the visit of Parliamentary Secretary Katsuyuki Kawai to Vladivostok.

    Secretary Kawai will visit Vladivostok in Russia from 9 to 11 July. He would meet with the officials there to discuss the future proceedings of the dismantlement program of the old nuclear submarines under the terms of the joint program between Russia and Japan named "Operation Hope". Secretary Kawai will visit the actual site of this dismantled works while he is in Vladivostok.

    Related Information (Japan-Russia Relations)

  6. Guests of the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan

    Mr. Takashima: The next statement is the visit of some foreign dignitaries to attend the National Day Ceremony of the Aichi Exposition.

    The following foreign dignitaries will visit Japan next week: Secretary of Tourism of the Argentina Republic Mr. Enrique Carlos Meyer will visit Japan from 10 to 14 July; and Vice Prime Minister of the Gabonese Republic, Mr. Antoine de Padoue Mboumbou Miyakou, from the 11 to 15 July; and Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Sir Allan Kemakeza, from 9 to 15 July; and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Mr. Mohamed Vall Ould Bellal, from 11 to 15; and Prime Minister of the Republic of Iceland, Mr. Halldor Asgrimsson from 10 to 17 July.

    Related Information (Press Release)

  7. Visit to Japan by the Foreign Minister of Rwanda

    Mr. Takashima: In addition to these foreign dignitaries' visit to Japan, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charles Murigande of the Republic of Rwanda will visit Japan from 16 to 20 July as a guest of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan. He will meet with Foreign Minister Machimura and also attend the reopening ceremony of the Rwandan Embassy in Japan.

    Related Information (Press Release)

  8. Questions concerning the relationship between the People's Republic of Bangladesh and Japan

    Q: I have three questions concerning the Prime Minister of Bagladesh. She is coming on 12 July I guess. What are the agreements that are going to be decided during her stay in Japan? That is the first question. And the second question is Japan is looking forward for Bangladesh to be a cosponsor of the draft proposal to be submitted to the UN. So how is the approach going to be made? Is it going in the form of a joint communiqué or joint declaration? And finally, what does Japan expect of this visit?

    Mr. Takashima: First of all, on the significance of the visit of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, we consider this visit as very important because although the relations between our two countries are very good, we would like to promote these friendly relations further and we would like to see further collaboration between Bangladesh and Japan in various areas including closer economic ties and political ties. In connection to that, Prime Minister Koizumi will discuss with Prime Minister Zia on the issue of United Nation reform. And the Government of Japan seek for the Government of Bangladesh's support on this draft resolution which the Group of Four submitted recently on the the issue of United Nations Security Council reform and the look into the possibility of Bangladesh's cosponsoring of this resolution.

    Q: In what form Bangladesh's support will be expressed, that is up to the decision of Government of Bangladesh. We are not in a position to make any comment or prediction. We hope that the support will be given to us.

    On your first question, I am sorry I do not have any exact wording of the possible joint statement but I expect that there will be a joint statement issued by the two Prime Ministers.

    What are the agreements going to decide?

    Mr. Takashima: I am sorry I do not have it with me right now.

    Related Information (Japan-Bangladesh Relations)

  9. Questions concerning visit to Japan by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

    Q: Is US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's expected to visit Japan?

    Mr. Takashima: Yes, she will be visiting Japan on 11 and 12 July. The main purpose of her visit is to hold a Foreign Minister-level meeting with Foreign Minister Machimura. I do not have any concrete information about the possible meeting between Secretary Rice and Prime Minister Koizumi because it is still being arranged between the two governments. We hope that this meeting will be materialized.

    Related Information (Japan-U.S. Relations)

  10. Questions concerning terrorist attacks in London

    Q: Has Japan received any information about the risk of being attacked by the explosions in London and has Japan taken any measures against those possible attacks?

    Mr. Takashima: We do not have any specific information about possible terrorist attacks in Tokyo or any part of Japan, but my understanding is that the security authorities as well as the public transportation system and other service sectors are taking further vigilance and precaution to prevent any sort of terrorist attack or any sort of accident or incident happening in this city. It is part of normal procedure and normal precaution.

    Related Information (Counter Terrorism)

  11. Questions concerning UN reform

    Q: The second question is about UN reform. If the G4 fails to have their UN proposal passed through the UN, how long will Japan wait until it obtains a seat in the Security Council?

    Mr. Takashima: I appreciate your question, but we are confident that this framework resolution will be approved by a two-thirds majority in the General Assembly because the UN reform is something which almost all members of the UN have been longing for for many years. The High-level Commission as well as UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan himself urged the UN members to accelerate the effort to realize this reform. This year is the most important and crucial year for reform. We believe that the framework resolution which we presented represents the best form of Security Council reform in terms of higher efficiency of the Council and higher representation of the international community today. Therefore, we believe that this resolution will be passed and to that end, we are accelerating our efforts to solicit more support from UN member countries. So it is too early for me to discuss any sort of possible future plan of the so-called failure of passing this framework resolution at the General Assembly this year.

    Q: Could you tell me how many countries have given their confirmation that they will support the UN reform proposal?

    Mr. Takashima: When we presented this G4 framework resolution to the Secretariat the day before yesterday, it had the names of 27 nations as co-sponsors of this resolution. We hope that this number will be increased, but at this moment, I do not have the exact figure of how many countries that have already expressed support.

    Q: You mentioned 27 countries that agreed to be co-sponsors to the framework resolution. How many countries are they targeting to get into that?

    Mr. Takashima: As many as possible, because becoming co-sponsors means that they give assured support. Therefore, we would like to increase the number of co-sponsors as much as possible.

    Related Information (United Nations Reform)

  12. Question concerning Japan-Russia relations

    Q: This is about the Japan-Russia relationship. Russian President Vladimir Putin has told Prime Minister Koizumi that he will visit Japan in November. We know that the two countries are in a very tense dispute about the Northern Territories. Would you expect that there would be any breakthrough between the two countries before President Putin's visit to Japan?

    Mr. Takashima: Firstly, President Putin and Prime Minister Koizumi have agreed that President Putin's visit to Japan will take place for three days from November 20 this year. They agreed this date when they met each other in Gleneagles yesterday and it was officially announced. We hope that this visit by President Putin will achieve further progress on various bilateral issues, especially on the peace treaty issue and the Northern Territories issue. We hope that this visit by President Putin would make it possible for the two countries to sign a peace treaty as soon as possible.

    At the same time, due to the long history of this territorial issue, we do not expect that this will be resolved very easily. It requires thorough discussions between the two governments and between the leaders. Forthcoming visit by President Putin would provide the best opportunity for both nations to tackle this difficult but very important issue.

    Related Information (Japan-Russia Relations)

  13. Questions concerning Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the G4

    Q: I have one question about the Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the G4. I am wondering if you could tell us if you already know who is likely to join the talks representing Africa?

    Mr. Takashima: We expect some foreign ministers from African nations would participate, but I do not have any conformation on that.

    Q: Would it be possible for you to give us information about who may possibly join the Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the G4?

    Mr. Takashima: We hope that the Foreign Minister of Nigeria, for example, would be able to participate, along with some other foreign ministers.

    Related Information (Press Release)

  14. Follow-up questions concerning terrorist attacks in London

    Q: What is the status of the information gathering operation in London about possible Japanese casualties?

    Mr. Takashima: The Embassy of Japan and Embassy staff are making utmost efforts to collect information, but so far, we have not encountered any information on the Japanese casualties so far. This does not mean we have lots of problems, but rather, the information is gathered from each hospital or company and we get assurance that there are no Japanese casualties from each installation. Therefore, it is not a bad sign, but it is a good sign. We hope that there would not be any Japanese casualties. We have to wait for the final result, but so far, there is no indication that there are many Japanese casualties in London.

    Q: Do you have any information about an official from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) who was supposed to be on a flight back to Japan?

    Mr. Takashima: The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) issued a press release that one of its officials who visited London and was supposed to take a flight to Japan last night was not onboard, and they thought he might have been involved in whatever way in the incident. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aware of that, but we do not have any information on him yet.


Back to Index