Teleconference between the Foreign Ministers of Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK)

August 10, 2007

1.  On August 9 (Thu) from 3:45 p.m. for approximately 20 minutes, Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs, had a teleconference with Mr. Song Min-soon, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea (ROK), at the latter’s request.

2.  Mr. Song told Mr. Aso that it had been decided to hold a summit meeting between South and North Korea from August 28 to 30.  Mr. Aso responded that Japan hoped that the summit meeting would reinforce the efforts of the countries concerned toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.  He also said that Japan was prepared to work sincerely within the Japan-North Korea Working Group and hoped that the ROK would urge North Korea to squarely address the resolution of various outstanding issues, including that of the abduction issues.  Mr. Song replied that he understood Mr. Aso’s message well and said that the ROK also hoped that the Japan-North Korea Working Group would be fruitful.

3.  On the implementation of the “next phase” in the Six-Party Talks process, the two Foreign Ministers agreed that they hoped that the discussions would be substantial as well as productive, and that Japan and the ROK would continue their close coordination.

4.  Finally, Mr. Song expressed gratitude for the messages from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Aso on the incident of the South Korean hostages in Afghanistan.  Mr. Aso reiterated his condolences and said that Japan intended to extend its utmost cooperation.