Press Conference 28 April 2006

  1. Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Yasuhisa Shiozaki to visit the Republic of Korea
  2. Nomination of Ambassador for Global Environmental Affairs Mutsuyoshi Nishimura as representative of the Government of Japan on climate change
  3. Second Japan-Philippines Political and Security Consultation
  4. Situation in Belarus
  5. Question concerning the abduction issue
  6. Questions concerning possible revision of the defense guidelines

  1. Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Yasuhisa Shiozaki to visit the Republic of Korea

    Deputy Press Secretary Tomohiko Taniguchi: Thank you very much for coming, good afternoon. Today's list is a short one.

    First of all Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Yasuhisa Shiozaki is going to visit the Republic of Korea (ROK) for two days from 1 May (Mon) until 2 May (Tue).

    He will meet Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-moon of ROK. The aim is to have discussions between them about how they should advance good relationships in a forward-looking fashion between the two nations. They will certainly talk about the issues related to North Korea and the abductions.

    So that is about Vice-Minister Shiozaki's visit to ROK.

    Related Information (Japan-ROK Relations)

  2. Nomination of Ambassador for Global Environmental Affairs Mutsuyoshi Nishimura as representative of the Government of Japan on climate change

    Mr. Taniguchi: Second, Ambassador for Global Environmental Affairs Mutsuyoshi Nishimura was nominated as the representative for the Government of Japan on climate change for the negotiations in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol.

    He is going to be the first such representative of the Government of Japan specifically dealing with climate change. Among the activities that he is going to be engaged in are things such as joining internationally relevant conferences and he is also going to take part in steering committee level discussions due in May in Germany.

    So that is about the nomination of Mr. Mutsuyoshi Nishimura as representative of the Government of Japan on climate change.

    Related Information (Climate Change)

  3. Second Japan-Philippines Political and Security Consultation

    Mr. Taniguchi: Thirdly, the Second Japan-Philippines Political and Security Consultation is actually taking place here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

    From the Japanese side, Deputy Director-General Toshihisa Takata of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and senior officials concerned from the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Agency, and from the Philippine side, Assistant Secretary of Asian and Pacific Affairs Romeo Manalo of the Department of Foreign Affairs and top officials involved from the Foreign Ministry and the Department of National Defense are attending the consultation.

    At the consultation, the views on security policies of both countries, regional cooperation and bilateral cooperation, counter-terrorism measures, and disaster prevention measures are being exchanged.

    This year actually marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic normalization between Japan and the Philippines, thus it is expected that the relations between the two countries will develop in various areas discussed at the consultation.

    So that is about the Japan-Philippines Political and Security Consultation.

    Related Information (Press Release)

  4. Situation in Belarus

    Mr. Taniguchi: Now let me just say a few words about the deteriorating situation in Belarus. As you know, there were arrests by the Belarus Government of some of the demonstrators, peacefully demonstrating in Belarus of late; and so I shall say the following:

    Japan with the international community is continuing to urge the Belarusian authorities to secure democratic principles, as was mentioned in the Joint Press Statement at the Japan-EU Summit on 24 April, where Summit leaders deplored that the Belarusian authorities detained the peaceful demonstrators by the use of force.

    However, the Belarusian authorities apprehended again yesterday some opposition leaders, including presidential candidate Mr. Milinkevich, who were peacefully demonstrating, which was indeed regrettable.

    We express our deep concern in this regard and reiterate our request that the Belarusian authorities secure basic human rights.

    Related Information (Japan-Belarus Relations)

  5. Question concerning the abduction issue

    Q: Right now, Mrs. Yokota is in the United States (US) and on the occasion of the visit there were reporters saying that the abduction issue would be a major issue on the agenda at the G8 Summit.

    What is the Foreign Ministry's position on this? Does the Foreign Ministry also think that the abduction issue should be the major issue at the forthcoming Summit? Has the agenda been discussed between Japan and Russia?

    Mr. Taniguchi: As far as the second part of your question is concerned, I have no knowledge at all what the Government of Japan is doing right now with the Government of the Russian Federation about the setting of the agenda, so I shall refrain from making any comments on it.

    But if indeed the abduction issue is going to be adopted for the agenda of the up-coming G8 Summit Meeting and is going to be discussed among the G8 Members as an important part of their overall concerns about the state of affairs of the world, I think that is going to be an important and crucial step forward for this issue to get more attention from the international community and for us to send a powerful signal to the North Koreans to let them know that unless this issue is solved no advancement is going to be made, certainly between Japan and North Korea.

    Related Information (Japan-North Korea Relations)

  6. Questions concerning possible revision of the defense guidelines

    Q: I think Minister of State for Defense Fukushiro Nukaga talked about the revision of the guidelines this morning in a press conference but I also heard that Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Aso said in a parliamentary session that he has no plans for immediate revision of the guidelines. Can you elaborate a little on that please?

    Mr. Taniguchi: As far as I understand there is no such talk going on at the moment between the two governments.

    Q: But are there any plans to do so in the near future?

    Mr. Taniguchi: It depends on many issues, so I do not think that it is appropriate for me now to make a speculation about it.

    Q: So MOFA's position is that there is no need for revisions of the 1997 Guidelines at the moment?

    Mr. Taniguchi: I simply said that in my knowledge no discussion is taking place at the moment, but I am not saying anything about the future projections.


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