Press Conference 18 April 2006

  1. The 15th Japan-EU Summit Meeting
  2. Visit to Japan by Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel of the Republic of Austria
  3. Visit to Japan by Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis of the Republic of Latvia
  4. Visit to Japan by Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of the Republic of South Africa
  5. The 2nd scoping consultation meeting with a view to starting negotiations for the Japan-Brunei Economic Partnership Agreement
  6. Grant aid (food aid) to Mongolia
  7. Upcoming speech by Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Aso at the Digital Hollywood University in Akihabara
  8. Question concerning research in the Sea of Japan
  9. Questions concerning Takeshima Island
  10. Questions concerning territorial disputes
  11. Questions concerning ban on maritime traffic in the East China Sea
  12. Questions concerning realignment of US forces

  1. The 15th Japan-EU Summit Meeting

    Deputy Press Secretary Tomohiko Taniguchi: Good morning, let me just quickly go through a list of some of the announcements for this week. The first one is about the 15th Japan-European Union (EU) Summit Meeting.

    The 15th Japan-EU Summit Meeting will be held in Tokyo at the Prime Minister's official residence on 24 April.

    The Meeting will be attended on the Japanese side by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and other officials, and on the EU side by Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel of Austria, President of the EU, Mr. Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, President of the European Commission, and others.

    At the Meeting, the leaders of Japan and the EU, as partners sharing basic values, will exchange views on wide-ranging issues including the political and economic relations and common agendas for Japan and the EU in the international community.

    Just for your information, the regular Summit Meeting started in 1991 and this will be the 15th. The last one, the 14th Japan-EU Summit Meeting, was held in Luxembourg last year.

    Related Information (Press Release)

  2. Visit to Japan by Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel of the Republic of Austria

    Mr. Taniguchi: To join this meeting, there will be a visit by Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel of the Republic of Austria. He will visit Japan from 23 to 25 April.

    During his stay in Japan, Dr. Schuessel will attend the summit meeting that I mentioned (the 15th Japan-EU Summit Meeting) and will also have talks with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan and others to exchange views on such matters as bilateral relations and the international situation.

    This will be the first visit by a Federal Chancellor of Austria in 16 years since Mr. Franz Vranitzky, then Chancellor visited Japan in 1989.

    Related Information (Press Release)

  3. Visit to Japan by Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis of the Republic of Latvia

    Mr. Taniguchi: Also from Europe, Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis of the Republic of Latvia will be visiting Japan from 19 to 24 April.

    He will also see Prime Minister Koizumi and Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Aso and have talks on the bilateral relationship and other international issues. Importantly, he is going to attend the opening ceremony for the Embassy of Latvia that is going to open in Tokyo. He will be accompanied by a delegation for the promotion of economic ties and tourism between the two countries.

    Related Information (Japan-Latvia Relations)

  4. Visit to Japan by Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of the Republic of South Africa

    Mr. Taniguchi: There will also be a visit by The Hon. Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa.

    The Hon. Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, will visit Japan from 18 to 21 April 2006.

    During her stay in Japan, she will be received in audience by His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince, pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, and have meetings with, among others, former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and President of the House of Councillors Chikage Oogi.

    It is expected that through her visit, the cooperative relationship and friendship between Japan and the Republic of South Africa is further promoted.

    Related Information (Press Release)

  5. The 2nd scoping consultation meeting with a view to starting negotiations for the Japan-Brunei Economic Partnership Agreement

    Mr. Taniguchi: There are two other items and one announcement. The first one is about the 2nd scoping consultation meeting with a view to starting negotiations for the Japan-Brunei Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

    The 2nd scoping consultation meeting with a view to starting negotiations for the Japan-Brunei EPA will be held in the State of Brunei Darussalam on 19 and 20 April.

    Related Information (Japan-Brunei Relations)
    Related Information (FTA and EPA)

  6. Grant aid (food aid) to Mongolia

    Mr. Taniguchi: The next one is about a grant aid (food aid) to Mongolia.

    The Government of Japan has decided to provide 200 million yen (approximately US$1.7 million) worth of grant aid, which is food aid, to Mongolia. The exchange of notes was conducted on 17 April in Ulan Bator, between Mr. Yasuyoshi Ichihashi, Japanese Ambassador to Mongolia, and Mr. Nyamaa Enkhbold, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia.

    Related Information (Japan-Mongolia Relations)

  7. Upcoming speech by Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Aso at the Digital Hollywood University in Akihabara

    Mr. Taniguchi: Lastly, let me just make an announcement that Foreign Minister Aso is going to make another speech. As you might know, he has been making a speech almost once a month, and this time he is going to make a speech on cultural diplomacy on 28 April. The venue will be a college called Digital Hollywood University in Akihabara, Tokyo. The title is going to be, "A New Idea for Cultural Diplomacy: We Need Your Strength," and that is a tentative translation of the title for the Japanese speech.

    I should encourage you and your colleagues to make yourselves available for this speech because he is going to talk about a host of interesting issues like manga, anime, J-Pop, and things like that. That will start at 17:30 on 28 April.

  8. Question concerning research in the Sea of Japan

    Q: Concerning the research in the Japan Sea by Japan, when is that going to be conducted?

    Mr. Taniguchi: I have no idea at the moment.

  9. Questions concerning Takeshima Island

    Q: According to Korean news reports, there was an investigation vessel of the Japan Coast Guard next to Takeshima Island on 15 April. Can you confirm this?

    Mr. Taniguchi: I do not have detailed knowledge about it so I am not in a position to confirm that at the moment.

    Q: Regarding the issue of Takeshima, what is the purpose of this oceanographic research? I understand that this is the first research conducted by Japan in many years. Why is Japan planning to do this now?

    Mr. Taniguchi: As you say, this is going to be the first such research conducted over the last 30 years. That means you have to do it now because so many years have passed and you have to see a better mapping of the area. That is the purpose. I do not think there is anything that I should add to that.

    Related Information (The Issue of Takeshima)

  10. Questions concerning territorial disputes

    Q: Japan is engaged in quite a few territorial water disputes among neighboring countries such as the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation. The disputes seem to be on the increase these days. Do you have any comments on that?

    Mr. Taniguchi: May I first correct your assumption that the disputes have been on the increase. Before Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) made an official rapprochement in 1965, that was the biggest issue between the two nations.

    Q: I think disputes as such should be read in the context of Japan-United States (US) relations or Japan's strategies for Asia. Do you have any comments?

    Mr. Taniguchi: Your nation is a free nation and so is ours. It is up to the people who make their own opinions.

  11. Questions concerning ban on maritime traffic in the East China Sea

    Q: Concerning the East China Sea, what is Japan's stance regarding what China is about to do, designating the ships to go to a certain area, which includes what Japan considers as its exclusive economic zone (EEZ)?

    Mr. Taniguchi: I understand that some of the areas that the Chinese authorities designated were changed so as not to include the overlapping area of the EEZs of the two nations.

    Q: What is Japan planning to do? Just watch and let them do what they want to do?

    Mr. Taniguchi: It is an area about which we have been discussing from both sides, from Beijing and Tokyo, about how to cooperate on the development of the energy resources. The Chinese have not responded to Japan since the last meeting so we are still urging Beijing to come back to the table of discussion and resume the talks regarding the gas field.

    Q: So you do not have a concrete plan yet regarding the next meeting between Japan and China about this issue?

    Mr. Taniguchi: No, because we have been waiting for China to come back.

    Q: In relation to that, sir, just recently China has revised the area in which it would conduct the surveys. I understand that it issued a notice in March on its website and it did not give any prior notice to Japan. Is that correct?

    Mr. Taniguchi: That is correct.

    Q: How does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs feel about the fact that it was not given prior notice?

    Mr. Taniguchi: As part of common sense, I would like to encourage the Government of China to give notice as early as possible from the next time onward.

    Q: What does the Japanese Government think about the reason why China is doing this?

    Mr. Taniguchi: On that point, we are asking the Chinese Government to tell us fully about what they are going to do. At the moment, I should refrain myself from making any further comment because I have got just a scant knowledge about it.

    Related Information (Japan-China Relations)

  12. Questions concerning realignment of US forces

    Q: The senior working-level meeting ended last Friday, and both Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Asia-Pacific Affairs Richard Lawless of the US and Minister of State for Defense Fukushiro Nukaga said that the two sides are still apart on the Guam relocation cost issue. What are the prospects from now on?

    Mr. Taniguchi: I know you are interested in that issue, but that is part of the ongoing talks between Japan and the US. We have overcome many barriers over the last couple of weeks about Okinawa, about Iwakuni, about Yokosuka, and so on. So we are very much positive and optimistic about having a good deal between the two nations.

    Q: About the KC-130s in Futenma, the US wants to move them to Iwakuni. Has any arrest been made between the two sides on that?

    Mr. Taniguchi: I cannot make any comment at this point.

    Q: Yesterday, a lot of anti-base groups came to Tokyo; representatives were protesting against the realignment. Does the Japanese Government still plan to go ahead with finalizing the agreement with Washington despite local opposition? Do you have any plans to talk and try to convince the opposition?

    Mr. Taniguchi: It was a pledge made by the two nations, Japan and the US, so there is not going to be any change about that. We are going to forge a good agreement between us.

    Related Information (Japan-U.S. Relations)


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