(* 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: Tuesday, April 11, 2006, 8.55 a.m.
Place: In front of the Ministers Room in the House

Main topics:

  1. Six Party Talks
  2. Realignment of U.S. Forces

1. Six Party Talks

Question:
Concerning the Six Party Talks each member nation, including Japan, is making repeated contact with North Korea. Has North Korea come forward and responded with a positive attitude towards this possible resumption of the Six Party Talks?

Minister:
No, I don't think it has.

Question:
At this point, what kind of talk is coming out of North Korea?

Minister:
Much the same as until now, I believe. Their conditions for returning to talks are the lifting of the so-called "financial sanctions".

Question:
What kind of efforts is the Japanese side making in regard to this issue?

Minister:
This issue has nothing whatsoever to do with the Six Party Talks. Concerning the issue of so-called "financial sanctions", money laundering and other such activity are violation of law and, as such, have nothing to do with the Six Party Talks. The US treats this law in the same way to any country.

Question:
The bilateral talks between the United States and North Korea would form an important part for resumption of the Six Party Talks, would they not?

Minister:
In the case of direct talks, first of all, the money laundering issue, as well as the issue of the Six Party Talks, would have to be addressed. I don't think there is any likelihood of US-North Korea bilateral talks if the current circumstances remain unchanged.

Question:
What are the prospects of bilateral talks between the United States and North Korea taking place in Tokyo?

Minister:
There are none at the present stage, I don't think.

Related Information (Six-Party Talks)

2. Realignment of U.S. Forces

Question:
Regarding realignment of U.S. Forces, I believe that prior to today's Cabinet meeting the relevant ministers gathered to discuss the issue. What was confirmed concerning the costs of transferring the Marine Corps to Guam?

Minister:
This has been an ongoing issue, and at the moment there are considerable differences of position. We must bridge those differences and find some form of agreement somewhere. The US side should extend a hand, and we on our side concede what we are able to concede. With things as they are now, the gap is, I believe, too wide.

Question:
According to certain reports this morning, the government is considering bearing over 30% of the costs involved from the general account. Is this based on fact?

Minister:
No, I don't think it is.

Related Information (Japan-U.S. Relations)


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