(* This is a provisional translation by "WIP ジャパン" for reference purpose only. The original text is in Japanese.)

Press Conference by Foreign Minister Taro Aso

Date: Friday, October 6, 2006, 8.50 a.m.
Place: In front of the Ministers' Room in the House

Main topics:

  1. Cabinet Meeting
  2. North Korean nuclear issue
  3. Japan-China Summit, Japan-ROK Summit

1. Cabinet Meeting

Minister:
There was discussion in the Cabinet meeting about the one-year extension of the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law.

2. North Korean nuclear issue

Question:
Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Yachi, presently in the United States, had talks with Dr. J.D. Crouch II, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor. Apparently they concurred that there is a good possibility that North Korea will perform a nuclear test this weekend. Is the present situation a highly charged one?

Minister:
We don't know the background to what made Dr. Crouch, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor, come forth with this. This is an intelligence-related topic, so I doubt whether he spoke on the matter in detail, but on the possibility. Unlike the missiles, this is not something that can be seen, so I can't say anything about it.

Question:
The Japanese government recognizes the present situation as being a highly charged one, does it not?

Minister:
No.

Question:
The Security Council is also in the final stages of dealing with this matter. Will a Presidential Statement or a Press Statement, for example, be issued this evening?

Minister:
We have requested that the member states get clearance from each capital for the draft Press Statement, so, evening in Japan being still morning over there, there is a possibility that this will happen today, as defined by their local time. This may, however, be delayed by around half a day, or a day.

Question:
So this means a Press Statement rather than a Presidential Statement will be issued, does it?

Minister:
Yes, but if there is a nuclear test, the situation will change.

Related Information (Japan-North Korea Relations)

3. Japan-China Summit, Japan-ROK Summit

Question:
The Japan-China, Japan-ROK summits will take place this weekend, and this will be the first foreign visit for Prime Minister Abe. What do you as the Minister of Foreign Affairs hope will result from these summits?

Minister:
I think it is good how the Japan-China summits that had been stalled for such a long time are now happening again at this early stage. This kind of thing cannot happen without meeting. Even in daily life it often happens that someone you've been told is a good person is, upon meeting, nothing like that. It's the same kind of thing. Meeting up is important, I think.

Question:
Will talks with China and the Republic of Korea include the North Korean issue?

Minister:
Yes, that goes without saying.

Related Information (Japan-China Relations)
Related Information (Japan-ROK Relations)


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