(* 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 Taro Aso

Date: Tuesday, November 1, 2005, 9:33 a.m.
Place: Briefing Room, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Main topics:


1. Cabinet Meeting

Question:
Is there anything to report from the Cabinet Meeting?

Minister:
Nothing in particular.

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

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

2. Issue of the Northern Territories

Question:
You stated that the issue of the Northern Territories has a long history since the San Francisco Peace Treaty in the press conference last night. The Treaty states that Japan renounces its all rights to the "Kurile Islands". What do you think of it?

Minister:
It is impossible to talk about it in this press conference. I need about one hour for the long talk. I have to read the official documents once.

Question:
Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida, the head of the Japanese delegation at the time, mentioned in his speech that Kunashiri and Etorofu, these islands are the South Kuriles. What do you think of the area of the "Kurile Islands"?

Minister:
Japan is consistent in its position on this matter.

Related Information (Japan's Northern Territories)

3. Realignment of U.S. Forces

Question:
Regarding the consultations on the realignment of U.S. Forces, you stated last night that you would exert your fullest efforts to obtain the understanding of local people last night. However, the Governor of Okinawa Prefecture and the Mayor of Nago City have stated that the interim report is unacceptable and the difference of opinions is irreconcilable. Do you have any plans to reconsider the current Camp Schwab Shore Plan before the final report?

Minister:
If the word "reconsider" includes minor adjustments such as a 10cm change in location, that's would be another story. However, the basic policy will not change.

Question:
Will there be few minor adjustments?

Minister:
There can be some.

Question:
And you will give consideration to the voices of local people?

Minister:
It is most desirable to accommodate all opinions. However, the geographical location of Okinawa Islands will not be altered. It is clear that U.S. bases in Okinawa are important in many senses. Therefore, the basic plan will not change. Originally, there were some plans of relocation sites such as inside the firing range of Camp Schwab and so on. In the end, The U.S. side compromised with us by agreeing to the Japanese proposal. Since it was a complicated process, there remains a possibility of minor adjustments. Nevertheless, as we have reached agreement in principle on the plan, I believe that substantial change will not be expected.

Related Information (Japan-U.S. Relations)


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