(* This is a provisional translation by a translation service company for reference purpose only. The original text is in Japanese.)

Press Conference by Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura

Date: Friday, October 11, 2005, 8:42 a.m.
Place: In front of the Room of the Foreign Minister in the House

Main topics:


1. Cabinet Meeting/Informal Cabinet Meeting
2. Large-Scale Earthquake in Pakistan and surrounding Areas

Minister:
At the Cabinet Meeting, I reported about the big earthquake in Pakistan and India. The number of dead is nearly 21,000 including one of the Japanese JICA staff and his family. We pray for the victims and will offer maximum support.

Japan Disaster Relief Team, Rescue Team and Medical Team, have already arrived at or started activities in the stricken site. About 25 million yen worth of urgent supplies will also arrive at the site today. Mr. Shuzen Tanigawa, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs will also arrive at the site to determine the extent of the needs for assistance. In addition, the Government of Japan has determined to extend emergency assistance to them of about 20 million dollars. We are also discussing with Fire and Disaster Management Agency and Defense Agency at the working level how to transport required things such as helicopters to the site. We will offer maximum support.

Question:
Do you determine how to offer support as early as possible discussing with FDMA and other agencies?

Minister:
Exactly.

Related Information (Earthquake Disaster in Pakistan)

3. Realignment of U.S. Forces

Question:
The Government of Japan is consulting with the U.S. about the interim report. What efforts will be made to reach a conclusion this week or in the future?

Minister:
We will energetically discuss this issue within the Government and with the U.S. to push the discussion forward this week.

Question:
Will you meet Mr. Yoshinori Ohno, Minister of the Defense Agency or the Chief Cabinet Secretary Hosoda?

Minister:
I have met with them as needed and will also meet them as needed this week.

Question:
It seems that there is a disagreement between Japan and the U.S. Will the Government of Japan consider proposals from the U.S. in order to bridge over the chasm?

Minister:
We have always been exchanging and examining each other's ideas.

Related Information (Japan-U.S. Relations)

4. Japan-North Korea Relations

Question:
It is mid-October now. Are there any contacts or progress?

Minister:
Nothing special.

Related Information (Japan-North Korea Relations)

5. KEDO

Question:
Regarding the light-water reactor project, according to news reports, the project will be scrapped in the Committee to be held in next month. Please let us know how to discuss details of KEDO framework and other matters in the future among Japan, U.S. and ROK.

Minister:
The specific decision will be done in the Council. I think nobody sees a fair possibility of continuing the KEDO project.

Related Information (KEDO)

6. Coalition Government in Germany

Question:
A grand coalition government is expected to be established in Germany and the first female Chancellor is most likely to be selected. What do you think of it? Please let us know your concept of future Japan-Germany relations.

Minister:
I don't think it's not appropriate to comment on whether Chancellor is female or not. It has been almost three weeks since the election was held. It is nit generally considered to be a favorable situation that the next Chancellor remains undecided. But we have to been in mind that the election result, in which no political camp won a majority, put those in political circles in Germany in a situation to make a tough choice. All we can do is to closely watch the situation, however, I hope that a stable government will soon be established in line with a grand coalition. That Germany is a G4 member also makes me keen on how negotiations on a grand coalition go.

Related Information (Japan-Germany Relations)


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