(* 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 21, 2006, 8:54 a.m.
Place: Briefing Room, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Main topics:

  1. Cabinet Meeting/Informal Cabinet Meeting
  2. Seabed Survey around Takeshima
  3. US-China Summit

1. Cabinet Meeting/Informal Cabinet Meeting

(See Japanese Version)

2. Seabed Survey around Takeshima

Question:
Regarding the issue of the oceanic survey of the Japan Sea, the Republic of Korea has made the cessation of Japan's plans to survey the area a prerequisite to holding diplomatic negotiations. How do you plan to approach the Republic of Korea in seeking an understanding?

Minister:
There can be no talk of cessation while the results of diplomatic negotiations remain unknown. The decision whether we will stop the survey or not will be made as a result of negotiation. We will conduct the diplomatic negotiations

Question:
Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Yachi is headed for the Republic of Korea today. Is Japan going to work to have the Republic of Korea abandon its proposal to give Korean appellations to the seabed terrain in June?

Minister:
It is because of this that we're carrying out the oceanic survey at this point in time. If the Republic of Korea indicates that it will not bring the issue up during the conference in Germany in June, then there is no need for us to address the matter at this point either.

Question:
In that case do you think that an understanding with the Republic of Korea will be possible?

Minister:
This is diplomacy, so I can't say anything about it here; but, as we are aware, the Republic of Korea has conducted surveys like this about four times in the past. While we didn't necessarily come to an understanding at those times, we dealt with the matters cool-headedly, so we'd like the Republic of Korea, too, to respond in a cool-headed way. Both sides should care not to invite untoward developments of the matter.

Related Information (The Issue of Takeshima)

3. US-China Summit

Question:
The US-China Summit has just taken place, but no great progress was made on the Iranian nuclear issue. What is your view of this Summit?

Minister:
All I know is that in the various reports from CNN and the BBC, there was nothing reported that seemed out of the ordinary.


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