(* 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 22, 2005, 2:02 p.m.
Place: Briefing Room, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Main topics:

  1. Cabinet Meeting/Informal Cabinet Meeting
  2. Japan-Russia Summit Meeting
  3. Liberal Democratic Party's 50th Anniversary
  4. Informal Press Conference held by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Busan, Republic of Korea

1. Cabinet Meeting/Informal Cabinet Meeting

Minister:
Since our party General Assembly for the 50th anniversary was delayed, today's entire schedule is getting tight. I will explain the Cabinet Meeting, but only briefly because the next Joint Meeting is to be held soon. During the Cabinet Meeting, I reported about Prime Minister Koizumi's attendance at the APEC Summit Meeting. The Finance Minister reported about working sessions of Financial System Council on FY2006 budget. The Minister of General Affairs and Communications reported about WSIS, so-called Tunis Summit, and Deutsche Post in Germany. In the Informal Cabinet Meeting, Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation Kitagawa reported about the case of falsifying building construction authorization documents. That's all for Cabinet Meetings.

2. Japan-Russia Summit Meeting

Question:
Regarding the Japan-Russia Summit Meeting held yesterday, you agreed to start a strategic dialogue. What issues will you discuss in the dialogue? How does it lead to the solution of the territorial issue?

Minister:
Many people say that the Territory may be returned soon by dialogue, but it is not so. Generally, territory is not easily returned by dialogue. There are no previous cases in which territory was returned by dialogue in the world except Okinawa, as far as I know. The only way to solve the issue is to stick to it even if it takes time. That is the first point. This issue is not something that can be concluded swiftly. So-called pipeline was one of the issues in the relations with Russia in the run-up to yesterday's summit meeting. Mr. Khristenko, Minister of Industry and Energy referred to construction of an oil pipeline to the Pacific coast. This issue was also discussed during the meeting between Prime Minister Koizumi and President Putin. In this connection things are going in the right direction. In many respects on the economic front, unless we both develop various things from different perspectives in light of national interests of both countries, I believe, it may become difficult to enhance confidence in each other, though it may take time. At any rate, both of us have to have a frank dialogue in consideration of both sides' common interest. We will have a strategic dialogue. We have to take time to have much dialogue. There is no specific issue, which would come to a swift conclusion.

Question:
In connection with the Japan-Russia Summit Meeting, Prime Minister Koizumi stated in the press conference that though he could not say with certainty, joint projects would be discussed at various levels including foreign-minister level. What do you think of it?

Minister:
I don't know if the Prime Minister really stated so, but at least there was no discussion or proposal on joint development in the Japan-Russia Summit Meeting.

Related Information (Japan-Russia Relations)

3. Liberal Democratic Party's 50th Anniversary (See Japanese Version)

4. Informal Press Conference held by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Busan, Republic of Korea (See Japanese Version)


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