Press Conference, 11 June 2009
- Announcement of Japan Expo to be held in Paris
- President of the Philippines Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to visit Japan
- Questions concerning the planned summit meeting with the President of the Philippines
- Questions concerning a possible summit meeting with the President of the Republic of Korea
- Questions concerning the United Nations Security Council Resolution on North Korea
- Questions concerning anti-terrorism aid to Pakistan
- Questions concerning Prime Minister Aso's recent emissions reduction target announcement
- Further questions concerning the United Nations Security Council Resolution on North Korea
Deputy Press Secretary Yasuhisa Kawamura: Good afternoon. Welcome to the conference. Let me start with two brief announcements.
First, the Government of Japan -- the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Japan Tourism Agency -- these Ministries and Agency will participate in coordination in the Japan Expo which will be held in Paris from July 2 to July 5.
The Japan Expo is one of the largest Japanese pop culture events in the world which will be attended by almost 150,000 young fans of Japanese culture from both within and outside of Europe. There are a number of booths at the venue introducing various types of Japanese culture including manga or comics, anime or animation, video games, music, and fashion as well as Japanese traditional martial arts and a batting cage.
The Japanese newly-appointed Fashion Communicators (Kawaii Envoys), the three young figures, will also attend the Japan Expo.
Second and last, Japan sincerely welcomes the visit of the president of the Philippines.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will visit Japan from June 17 to 20, by the invitation of the Government of Japan.
During her stay in Japan, the President will be received in audience by Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress. Prime Minister Aso will also hold a summit meeting with the President.
That's all from me, now I will invite your questions.
Q: About the planned summit between Japan and the Philippine president, are there any certain topics which they will address at the summit meeting?
Mr. Kawamura: Well, this visit is a working visit on the invitation of the Japanese government. It is expected that the two leaders will discuss the current state of the economic and political relations between the two countries. After the ratification of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), we are now entering into a phase of substantial progress of trade and investment relations existing between the two nations. The two leaders will discuss how these relations will be enhanced and we will see mutually beneficial results out of the implementation of the agreement.
Q: There was a news report about a summit meeting between the Japanese Prime Minister and the South Korean President maybe in Tokyo in late June. Do you have any information on or confirmation of this report?
Mr. Kawamura: I have read the reports. We are seeking to fix the timing, but we have not decided yet when we can hold the meeting. Prime Minister Aso visited South Korea this past January, and we are in the engagement of "Shuttle Diplomacy." The Prime Minister extended the invitation to President Lee Myung-bak at the time, and he is expected to visit Japan at an early timing. We are looking forward to receiving the shuttle diplomacy from Korea at an early timing.
Q: About the United Nations Resolution on North Korea, can I get any response?
Mr. Kawamura: Yes. We are making good and steady progress towards a final adoption of the resolution at an early timing. What we are currently doing is that the draft version of the resolution is seeking for its approval at each capital. So, we are now entering into a kind of final phase and hope that it would be finalized very soon.
As you may know, in terms of content, the draft includes the additional measures in the areas of arms embargo, cargo inspections and financial measures in addition to the measures which were specified in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718. We think that this draft includes strong measures and expect that it will effectively work.
Q: There are reports that the resolution draft was kind of watered down compared to the initial request of Japan and the United States to make the cargo inspection mandatory. What do you think about that kind of perception?
Mr. Kawamura: We are still in the process of finalizing the draft. It is too early to comment on the detailed contents and measures to be included in the resolution. Judging from the general outlines expected there, we think that the measures are expected to work effectively. This is the United Nations where the sovereign governments gather and discuss the most appropriate and effective ways of implementing the collective will of the international community. We have to be practical and effective in taking actions in the United Nations context. We will hope that we will reach the final consensus or agreement at a very early timing and each government, including Japan, would implement those measures in an effective manner.
Q: My question, rather request is about the suicide bombings recently, yesterday, a big blast in Peshawar, and this is happening because of Pakistan playing a frontline role.
So, I have two requests. One is that our army was only supposed to fight with external enemies. So, they are not equipped with the latest equipment like security and other things which they need to increase the fight with the terrorists inside the country. Our army is not ready or equipped with the latest equipment which is needed for internal security because I live in Japan, I know that ordinary citizens have the very latest equipment to save their houses and security agencies have modern equipment. Our army is not equipped with that kind of equipment because they never needed it. Now, is Japan and other friends of Pakistan who are sharing this fight and campaign against terrorists, do they think ? because I heard news at home that they are lacking the latest equipment which the terrorists, I do not know from where they have bought it, but they are getting it. Is it possible that these friends of Pakistan, they help these fighters who are fighting against them?
The other thing is that I have been during the 14th of May, my request about internally displaced persons in Pakistan, so I am happy that the Japanese government pledged 10 million dollars. I think, keeping in this situation which happened after this donor conference in Tokyo, now the situation, the operation also started after that. This situation was not anticipated at that time. Now, I think it needs more help from the friends of Pakistan. Ten million dollars is equal to, let me think in terms of people who are displaced, is more than around 3 million people. So, 10 million dollars is around three dollars per displaced person.
Those are my two questions, if you could convey to the Japanese government at this time.
Mr. Kawamura: First of all, I would be pleased to pass on your message to the people in charge in the Foreign Ministry.
The second point, your concern or your request for the equipment to cope with the newly arising situations. As part of my response to your inquiries, I would like to remind you of the quite recent Japanese government announcement of 10 million dollars worth of aid to assist the Pakistani government to protect the internally displaced persons. This commitment was made at the Pakistan Donors Conference in Tokyo in April. We will keep an eye on the ever-changing situation in Pakistan to provide the necessary assistance to the people in need.
Q: I think, in my opinion, the security equipment, the models, they are very much in need of the people of the army who are fighting because, from what information I got, it seems that they have more modern equipment than the army has, because they pass through the equipment easily which the army and the agencies have. They have more modern. I ask these questions the other day from the ex-Minister of Defense of Pakistan, and he agreed that the terrorists are getting them. From where, nobody knows, but they are getting the most advanced equipment. If they are not provided, it might be a difficulty not only for the Pakistani Army who is fighting, but for the international community, also.
Mr. Kawamura: I will keep it mind.
Q: Prime Minister Aso announced Japan's carbon emissions reduction target for 2020 yesterday. Some people say it is a politically realistic level and some others say it is not ambitious enough to meet demands by the developing countries or scientists. How will Japan try to use this target to try to push forward United Nations negotiations for a new climate change pact?
Mr. Kawamura: The negotiations have been ongoing currently in Bonn. Yesterday, the Prime Minister explained the mid-term goals of Japan. This decision was made by the Prime Minister based upon the internal discussion involving business, labor and the general public. It seeks to balance environmental protection and economic interests.
The target figure of -15% compares with the emissions level of 2005. This is so-called "clear water," in the Prime Minister's terms, a real cut which does not rely on other intakes such as emission trading. It is the real reduction of the emissions level from the year 2005. This figure is a leading figure in comparison with other major negotiating countries. We will seek the further understanding of our partners, but at the same time, as Prime Minister Aso emphasized in his speech yesterday, Japan would also like to underline that Japan's energy efficiency is one of the highest levels in the world. As for trading rights and other elements we will consider the treatment in the upcoming negotiations.
Japan could show leadership in the negotiations, as Prime Minister Aso clearly mentioned in this speech. We will continue to negotiate by maintaining Japan's stance, but at the same time, to prevent global warming. Japan will actively participate in the upcoming negotiations.
Any other questions?
Q: When the United Nations resolution is formally adopted, do you expect any teleconferences between Japan and the United States, between the Foreign Minister and his counterpart?
Mr. Kawamura: At this very moment, I cannot foresee what kind of further communications will be necessary between Japan and the United States. For example, Mr. Saiki, the Director-General of Asian Affairs, is just back from his visit to the United States. In New York, we have ambassador-level communications quite well. We will see the further developments and decide what to do next. If necessary, of course, we will think of the possibility of holding additional meetings or conversations. At this very moment, I cannot see for sure.
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