Press Conference by the Assistant Press Secretary, 6 December 2012
- Adoption of the draft resolution on nuclear disarmament Submitted by Japan to the United Nations General Assembly
- The Middle East, Israeli settlement activities
- Japan-EU EPA
- The Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Reduction
- The gift from the Japanese Government to the United States concerning the marine debris
1. Adoption of the draft resolution on nuclear disarmament Submitted by Japan to the United Nations General Assembly
Assistant Press Secretary Mr. Masaru Sato: Let me begin today’s press conference for international press. I have several announcements to make at the top.
First, the adoption of the draft resolution on nuclear disarmament Submitted by Japan to the United Nations General Assembly. On December 4, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the draft resolution on nuclear disarmament, “United action towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons,” which the Government of Japan submitted along with a record number of 99 cosponsor nations. The draft resolution was adopted by an overwhelming majority of 174 in favor to 1 against(the DPRK) with 13 abstentions. The largest overall number of countries voted in favor this year, and the UK became a cosponsor for the first time in 16 years in addition to the U.S. among the nuclear weapon states. This resolution confirms that concerted actions by the international community are required to ensure the steady implementation of the agreements reached at the NPT Review Conference held in May 2010 and will contribute to further expediting international efforts toward the realization of a world without nuclear weapons.
2. The Middle East, Israeli settlement activities
Second, the Middle East. On December 3, the Minister for Foregin Affairs issued a statement that the Government of Japan deeply deplores that the Israeli Government has announced, on 30 November, the approval of the large-scale construction of a total of 3,000 new housing units in East Jerusalem and in the West Bank. The Israeli Government’s continuation of proceeding with its plan for settlement construction clearly goes against the ongoing efforts by the international community to resume negotiations for peace. Settlement activities are a violation of international law and Japan has repeatedly called upon Israel to fully freeze settlement activities. The Government of Japan does not recognize any act that prejudges the final status of the territories in the pre-1967 borders. In this connection, upon instructions from Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba, on December 4, Dr. Makio Miyagawa, Director-General, Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau, made a démarche to the same effect.
In addition to the government’s request to the Israeli side, as stated at the adoption of the resolution for the United Nations General Assembly to accord Observer State status to Palestine, the Government of Japan, in the statement by Minister for Foreign Minister, reiterates its strong call on the Palestinian Authority to immediately resume direct negotiations with Israel and ask for prudence with respect to conduct, such as accession to international organizations, which might negatively affect the prospects for the resumption of negotiations.
3. Japan-EU EPA
Third, Japan-EU EPA. Japan welcomes that, on November 29, the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union approved mandates for the European Commission to negotiate with Japan for both economic partnership and political agreements. Japan-EU EPA, if concluded, will contribute to economic growth of both Japan and the European Union. The Government of Japan will continue to work to realize a high level economic partnership agreement with the European Union and will also, in parallel, engage in negotiations on a political agreement with the European Union.
4. The Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Reduction
Fourth, the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction. On December 6, the United Nations draft resolution was adopted at the Second Committee in New York, concerning international disaster reduction strategy. The draft resolution refers to that the third World Conference on Disaster Reduction will be held in Japan in 2015. This draft resolution will be sent to the United Nations General Assembly to be officially adopted in the near future. In this connection, the venue of the conference will be decided after necessary procedures are taken in collaboration with the Cabinet Office.
5. The gift from the Japanese Government to the United States concerning the marine debris
Fifth, a gift from the Japanese Government to the United States regarding the marine debris. On November 30, the Japanese Government made a Cabinet decision in which a five million USD worth of gift based on the goodwill of the Japanese people will be provided to the U.S. Government in appreciation for its enormous assistance Japan received in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake last year, starting with the Tomodachi Operation. The gift will be provided for the U.S. to support its response to the marine debris that was created as a result of the disaster. The intention to provide the gift was expressed by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the occasion of the APEC Summit Meeting in Vladivostok last September. The two governments held consultations on the framework under which the gift money would be provided. We reached this decision last Friday.
This is all I have at the top. I would be happy to take questions. If there are no questions, I would like to conclude today’s press conference. Thank you very much.
Back to Index