(* 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: Tuesday, October 14, 2005, 9:17 a.m.
Place: Briefing Room, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Main topics:


1. Cabinet Meeting/Informal Cabinet Meeting

Minister:
At the Cabinet Meeting, I reported about an emergency grant aid to Pakistan. We have already determined to extend emergency assistance up to $20,000,000 at the Cabinet Meeting on 11 October 2005. Today, I reported that about $12,000,000 (1,284,000,000yen) of this would be granted on bilateral base. We have not yet determined on the rest namely $8,000,000. We are finalizing our consideration that the rest be granted through international organizations. The number of victims in Pakistan, as you are reporting, is gradually increasing, over 25,000 people. Two Japanese people died but other Japanese residents are all right. Two short-trip tourists are still missing. We are fully committed to find those missing people.

The Japan Self Defense Forces (JSDF) have been dispatched. I appreciated their prompt decisions and actions. The helicopters have departed yesterday. However, it takes three days for them to arrive at the site, due to repeated refueling. We discussed that we should prepare larger transport aircrafts in the Cabinet Meeting today. Another problem is, the Japan Disaster Relief Team has been dispatched, but we have information that food has not been supplied to the team properly. We have to check and respond to this problem immediately.

Question:
Who said we should prepare larger transport aircrafts in the Cabinet Meeting?

Minister:
I am not sure who said that, probably the Minister of Defense Agency or the Chief Cabinet Secretary. Since some people stated impressions at the same time, I am not sure.

Question:
Did the Prime Minister state anything on this issue?

Minister:
The Prime Minister did not state anything particularly.

Question:
You discussed with the Prime Minister after the Cabinet Meeting. What issues did you discuss?

Minister:
We talked about the outline of the Japan-US Deputy Foreign Minister level consultations held yesterday and the day before yesterday and a few other matters other than Japan-US relations.

2. Realignment of U.S. Forces

Question:
Regarding the issue of the realignment of U.S. Forces, did the Prime Minister instruct to continually the process of finalizing the interim report?

Minister:
I will not comment on what I discussed with the Prime Minister.

Question:
Regarding the realignment of U.S. Forces, if the interim report is to be finalized within this month, what is the schedule and at which level will the consultation be held?

Minister:
We are working vigorously to issue the interim report within this month at all levels.

Related Information (Japan-U.S. Relations)

3. Cabinet's Important Issues in the Future

(Omit)

4. Foreign Minister MACHIMURA Nobutaka's Visit to China

Question:
We heard that you will visit China. How is the consultation with China side going? What is the schedule and what are the purposes.

Minister:
The schedule has not been determined yet in the consultation with China, but we have made a proposal to visit there next weekends and it seems to be so. It would be a very limited business-like visit. I would like to meet the Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing to discuss Japan-China joint action plan as a main subject which we have proposed since spring this year or January 2005. One year has passed since our first proposal of this plan and it might have taken too much time, as I regret.

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