Press Conference, 9 April 2009
- Launch of flying object by the DPRK
- Speech on nuclear disarmament by President Barack Obama of the United States of America in Prague, Czech Republic
- Renewed nomination of Mr. Yukiya Amano, Permanent Representative and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the International Organization in Vienna, as a candidate for the post of Director General of the IAEA
- Earthquake disaster in Italy
- Question concerning support for Taiwan's participation in the WHO as an observer
- Question concerning the candidate for the post of Director General of the IAEA
- Questions concerning the visit to Japan of President Asif Zardari of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
- Questions concerning the request by the Mayor of Ishigaki for permission to visit the Senkaku Islands
Deputy Press Secretary Yasuhisa Kawamura: Good afternoon. Welcome. Let me start with a few announcements.
Concerning the launch of a flying object by the DPRK, Japan has been continuing its diplomatic efforts within and outside of the United Nations Security Council so that a clear, unified and strong response be taken. As Foreign Minister Nakasone made clear at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan (FCCJ) last Tuesday (the 7th), he would like to discuss this issue also with his ASEAN counterparts in the fringe of the ASEAN related meetings which are scheduled to be held in Pattaya, Thailand this weekend. In addition, Mr. Shintaro Ito, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, left Japan this morning for New York, to make sure the United Nations Security Council takes an appropriate action in this regard.
II. Speech on nuclear disarmament by President Barack Obama of the United States of America in Prague, Czech Republic
Mr. Kawamura: Second, on the speech by President Barack Obama of the United States of America on nuclear disarmament last Sunday, the 5th, in Prague. Foreign Minister Nakasone issued a welcome statement, in which he said that in order to realize "the world without nuclear weapons", Japan would strengthen cooperation with the international community including the United States for the success of the Conference discussing application of the NPT in 2010, and that Foreign Minister Nakasone himself would further clarify his views on this issue in the form of an address in mid April, this month.
III. Renewed nomination of Mr. Yukiya Amano, Permanent Representative and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the International Organization in Vienna, as a candidate for the post of Director General of the IAEA
Mr. Kawamura: Third, last Tuesday, the 7th, the Government of Japan again submitted documents nominating Mr. Yukiya Amano, Permanent Representative and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the International Organization in Vienna, as a candidate for the post of Director General of the IAEA, as nominations have been opened anew for the said post. In the last series of ballots, Ambassador Amano fell short of securing the post only by a single vote. In light of the broad support from the IAEA Board, the Government of Japan intends to continue making its utmost efforts in support of his election.
Mr. Kawamura: Fourth and last, on the earthquake that hit Italy last Monday, the 6th, Foreign Minister Nakasone conveyed a message to Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini regarding the large-scale earthquake that hit the mid region of Italy. Foreign Minister Nakasone expressed his sympathy for the people and the Government of Italy being hit by the earthquake. The Government of Japan is prepared to provide emergency assistance whenever the Government of Italy calls upon it.
Q: I have one question. The Republic of China has tried to attend the assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO), which you know is the World Health Assembly (WHA), from 1997, and since the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Japan has expressed support for Taiwan's endeavor from 2004, and as you know the assembly will be held next month in Geneva. I want to ask whether Japan will continue to give Taiwan such support, as an observer to attend the WHA.
Mr. Kawamura: In short, Japan's stance regarding Taiwan's request to participate as an observer at the upcoming WHO plenary session has not seen any change. We will maintain the previous stance. Just for your reference, I would like to reiterate Japan's position in this regard. Japan would like to support that Taiwan would participate in the General Assembly of the WHO in some format which would satisfy all the related parties concerned. So, with the consent of all the parties concerned, the observer status would be appropriate. This is the Japanese Government's position, and it has not seen any change since then. I hope that at the upcoming May General Assembly of the WHO the observer participation by Taiwan will be thus realized.
Q: What did you say was the name of the expected Director General of the IAEA?
Mr. Kawamura: Yukiya Amano.
VII. Questions concerning the visit to Japan of President Asif Zardari of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Q: The Pakistan Donors Conference and Friends of Democratic Pakistan Group Ministerial Meeting are on the 17th. Do you have any updates on this? Whether the venue has been decided or not yet? Where is it going to be? Which hotel? And what about the tentative schedule on the 16th, because the 17th will be a full day and he will be leaving on the 17th.
Mr. Kawamura: About the venue, it is going to be held in a very good hotel in Tokyo. I do not think the name of the hotel could be announced at this timing. For security reasons I think it will come out later. But you do not have to worry about the facility. It will be quite spacious and supportive.
Q: What about the schedule on the 16th? I heard only one minister is coming, and the rest are secretary level people that are accompanying him.
Mr. Kawamura: We have not made any announcement yet of further details of the schedules about the meeting on the 17th.
Just for your reference, President Asif Zardari of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is expected to arrive on Wednesday 15th and he will also have a series of meetings in Tokyo.
Q: On the 15th?
Mr. Kawamura: Yes, he is arriving on Wednesday, the 15th and leaving on Friday, the 17th. On the 16th, Thursday, prior to the Pakistan Donors Conference and Friends of Democratic Pakistan Group Ministerial Meeting, he is going to see a series of dignitaries in Japan, and he will attend a luncheon with business leaders and Japanese parliamentarians and so forth.
Q: On the 16th?
Mr. Kawamura: Yes, on the 16th. And Prime Minister Aso is going to host a dinner for the President.
Q: On the 16th?
Mr. Kawamura: Yes, on the 16th.
Q: Is there any joint communiqué to be issued?
Mr. Kawamura: My understanding is that Prime Minister Aso and President Zardari are going to give a press conference after the meeting at the Prime Minister's official residence. After the meeting the two leaders will come out in front of the press and give a press conference.
Dinner will follow after the press conference. Then the following day, on Friday, in the morning the Friends of Democratic Pakistan Group Ministerial Meeting will be held, and in the afternoon the Pakistan Donors Conference will follow.
Q: So the communiqué and the lunch and dinner will be on the 16th, not the 17th.
Mr. Kawamura: Are you talking about the communiqué of the bilateral meeting, or from the Friends of Democratic Pakistan Group Ministerial Meeting or Pakistan Donors Conference on the 17th?
Q: So maybe the only chance to meet him will be on the 16th?
Mr. Kawamura: On a bilateral basis, yes, on the 16th he will meet with Prime Minister Aso, and there is a possibility for him to see Foreign Minister Nakasone but this is not firmly set up, but on Friday Foreign Minister Nakasone is going to host lunch for the President and the participating ministers. So on that occasion President Zardari will have a chance to see Foreign Minister Nakasone as well.
Q: On the 16th?
Mr. Kawamura: No, on the 17th.
Q: But lunch is on the 15th?
Mr. Kawamura: Lunch on the 16th is with business people. On the 17th there is also a lunch hosted by the Foreign Minister.
Q: I am concerned about the media. When is he going to meet the media?
Mr. Kawamura: The first opportunity is on the evening of Thursday, the 16th, at the Kantei (Prime Minister's Official Residence). The Prime Minister and President will see the press at the Kantei.
VIII. Questions concerning the request by the Mayor of Ishigaki for permission to visit the Senkaku Islands
Q: One more question, the Mayor of Ishigaki sent a letter to the Foreign Minister requesting permission to visit the Senkaku Islands. Has any decision been made on approval or not?
Mr. Kawamura: First of all, I know that the Mayor of Ishigaki sent a letter to the Foreign Minister and we received it. What we are doing now is to communicate with the relevant ministries and agencies and to discuss how to cope with this request.
Q: And you have not made any decision yet?
Mr. Kawamura: Not yet.
Back to Index