Press Conference by Foreign Minister Taro Kono
Friday, March 9, 2018, 8:46 a.m.   Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office

This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.
Japanese

Opening Remarks

(1) Signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership

Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs: The signing ceremony for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership took place in Santiago, Chile on March 8 local time (March 9 in Japan) attended by Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Toshimitsu Motegi, who is in charge of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), from Japan.

I believe this agreement promotes the liberalization of trade and investment, establishes new rules in a wide range of areas, including intellectual property and e-commerce transactions, and creates the foundation for a free and fair economic order in the Asia-Pacific region. This is a landmark achievement.

(2) US Decision on Import Restriction Measures for Steel and Aluminum

Minister Kono: It is regrettable that today, the President of the United States decided on import restriction measures that raise tariffs on steel and aluminum products imported from all countries except Canada and Mexico.

These measures could have a significant impact on the economic and cooperative relationship between Japan and the United States, which are allies, as well as the world economy. Japan will appropriately address this issue upon careful scrutinization of the impact on Japanese companies and the relationship with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement.

(3) Decision on Refugee Resettlement Locations

Minister Kono: Japan has selected Kure City in Hiroshima Prefecture and Fujisawa City in Kanagawa Prefecture as resettlement locations for 29 people from eight families as the eighth group of resettlement refugees from Myanmar.

The Government hopes that resettlement of these refugees who came to Japan in September 2017 in these two cities will contribute to greater understanding of the refugee issue on a nationwide scale.

If there are local governments or companies interested in accepting resettlement refugees in the future, please contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and you will be given relevant information.

(4) Streamlining Operations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Minister Kono: The Ministry will eliminate the logistics book related to travel by the Foreign Minister, and this year outsource logistics and other activities for meetings hosted by the Foreign Minister to private-sector companies.

Additionally, the Ministry will be working to significantly streamline and improve the efficiency of operations for preparation of Q&A summaries for officials who are bureau and department head-level or lower, among other activities.