(* 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, April 7, 2006, 8:46 a.m.

Main topics:

  1. Cabinet Meeting/Informal Cabinet Meeting
  2. North Korea Abductions Issue
  3. Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD)

1. Cabinet Meeting/Informal Cabinet Meeting

(See Japanese Version)

2. North Korea Abductions Issue

Question:
There are certain reports from the Republic of Korea that the results of DNA testing on the husband of the abducted Megumi Yokota confirm that he was the man abducted from the ROK. What are the facts of this matter?

Minister:
What is the source of these reports?

Question:
Certain Korean sources.

Minister:
Channeled through Japanese news services?

Question:
It was a Korean report made from Tokyo.

Minister:
I have nothing to say regarding it.

Question:
Have the results of the DNA test not been released yet?

Minister:
No, they haven't.

Question:
Yesterday the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary stated that the results were expected to be confirmed sometime after next week. Approximately when is this likely to happen?

Minister:
Sometime after next week. Whatever the case, it won't be this week; that is for certain.

Question:
Does that mean that the Japanese government does not yet have the results of the DNA test?

Minister:
It means that it has not yet been formally announced whether or not the scientists and other such professionals have yet come to a decision in their talks with each other.

Related Information (Abduction Cases of Japanese Nationals)

3. Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD)

Question:
Representatives from six countries are expected in Tokyo. As a nation aiming for the broad resolution of the North Korean abduction and nuclear issues, what approach is Japan going to take?

Minister:
Basically, these are what are known as 'Track II' talks, sponsored as they are by non-government organizations. They are not at all on the level of the 'Track I' talks carried out by governments. The members of the Six-Party Talks all coming here is coincidental. Whether the Russian delegation will still be here next week, or whether Wu Dawei, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of China is going to come and take part personally are matters on which nothing has been said officially, so in that sense simply because the participants are now all present does not really even warrant saying Six-Party Talks.

Question:
Don't you think there is a possibility of, say, two of the countries involved having direct contact with each other somewhere other than where the conference is taking place?

Minister:
Whether any concerned parties might make the effort to secretly hold such a meeting at a hotel or somewhere in such a way that newspaper reporters are unaware of is an unknown possibility. But without knowing what North Korea has in mind, they are not going to go very far at all, are they.

Related Information (Japan-North Korea Relations)


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