(* 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 8, 2005, 11:02 a.m.
Place: Briefing Room, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Main topics:

  1. Cabinet Meeting/Informal Cabinet Meeting
  2. Realignment of U.S. Forces
  3. Six-Party Talks on North Korean Issues/Japan-North Korea Relations
  4. Situation of Mr. Alberto Fujimori, Former President of the Republic of Peru

1. Cabinet Meeting/Informal Cabinet Meeting

Minister:
During the Cabinet Meeting, The Minister of Justice stated the White Paper on Crime. In the Informal Cabinet Meeting, Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe required related ministers to accelerate the Trinity Reform.

2. Realignment of U.S. Forces

Question:
You had a talk with Governor Inamine of Okinawa Prefecture yesterday. Do you have any plans to visit Okinawa to explain the interim report of the realignment consultations in detail, including the Camp Schwab Shore plan?

Minister:
I have heard that Minister of State for Defense Nukaga will visit there today, but my visit has not been decided yet.

Related Information (Japan-U.S. Relations)

3. Six-Party Talks on North Korean Issues/Japan-North Korea Relations

Question:
The Six-party Talks on North Korean issues will be resumed from tomorrow. Though a joint statement was adopted last time, there was a difference of opinions between United States and North Korea about sequence of return to Non-Proliferation Treaty and offering of light-water reactor the next day. How do you get on with the Talks this time?

Minister:
Our officially-stated stance and stance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs never change. Abduction as well as nuclear and missile issues are major matters to Japan. Though we should achieve the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and North Korea as neighbors, we also need preconditions for it. We have insisted on this point in the Japan-North Korea Bilateral Talks and at least they understand that the Government of Japan has continued to raise these issues thinking that the abduction issue hasn't been resolved yet. This issue will be discussed continuously.

Question:
Do you establish working committees and expert consultations for those issues to have discussions?

Minister:
We haven't yet received a response to be received after their return to Pyongyang. We can determine it in the talks but they will determine after returning to Pyongyang. The specific plans such as starting date and members of working committees haven't been determined yet. We just suggested establishing three working committees in the talks.

Question:
The Government of Japan suggested establishing three committees in the intergovernmental dialogue last week, and one of the committee is for normalization talks. Is it an ambassadorial-level meeting?

Minister:
That is the highest-level on site.

Question:
The members of Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea (AFVKN) have responded that the ambassadorial-level normalization talks mean setback of the negotiations. What do you respond it?

Minister:
I believe Mr. Shinzo Abe explained the similar matter to the members of AFVKN when he was the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary. We have to conduct normalization talks with North Korea at least. However, we also need preconditions such as resolutions of abduction as well as nuclear and missile issues. Even if we conduct committees simultaneously and conduct the normalization talks, the normalization will not be realized unless abduction as well as nuclear and missile issues are resolved. We clearly explained the members of AFVKN yesterday in that sense.

Question:
Regarding Ms. Megumi Yokota, one of abduction victims, some ROK's media reported that her husband "Kim Chol-jun" may also be an abduction victim from ROK. What does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs respond this matter?

Minister:
Since we haven't confirmed this matter yet, I have no comment on it. I believe ROK hasn't confirmed it through diplomatic channel with North Korea either. In that sense, this is speculation. We cannot say anything on the basis of speculation, in ROK.

Related Information (Japan-North Korea Relations)

4. Situation of Mr. Alberto Fujimori, Former President of the Republic of Peru

Question:
Has the Government of Chile officially reported about Mr. Alberto Fujimori, Former President of the Republic of Peru? If so, does the Government of Japan plan to let Japanese Consul interview with him?

Minister:
Since he possesses Japanese citizenship, the Government of Japan would like to make inquiries about his situation.

Related Information (Japan-Peru Relations)


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