(* This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only. The original text is in Japanese.)

Press Conference by Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Aso

Date: Friday, May 25, 2007, 8:50 a.m.
Place: In front of the Cabinet Meeting Room in the House

Main topics:

  1. Overseas trip by Foreign Minister Taro Aso
  2. Climate change issue
  3. Media reports on losses of art objects in overseas diplomatic establishments

1. Overseas trip by Foreign Minister Taro Aso

Minister:
From Sunday 27 May until Tuesday 2 June, I will visit Germany, Poland, and Spain. In Germany I will attend the 8th Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), as well as the Japan-EU Troika Foreign Ministers' Meeting, and the G8 Foreign Ministers' Meeting. Furthermore, on Sunday 3 June, I will visit Cheju in the Republic of Korea to attend the Japan-China-ROK Foreign Ministers' Meeting.

Related Information (Foreign Minister Aso's Visit to Germany, Poland and Spain)

2. Climate change issue

Question:
Yesterday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the basic policies of the Government of Japan on the climate change issue. What is your evaluation of these policies?

Minister:
Fundamentally, the current problem is that the major emitter countries, including China, India, and the US, are not in the framework, and therefore it currently lacks efficacy. Therefore, this time around we will aim to create a framework into which those countries will of course enter, and moreover, other countries including Russia will join. Considering that the politics are of correct approach. Japan will give the necessary financial support so that it will be easy for countries, particularly developing countries and the last developed countries, to enter the framework. I believe that the United Kingdom has indicated that it will provide approximately 800 million pounds. In my opinion, Japan's approach is unique in that it would bring everyone into the framework and is different from the approach being proposed by other countries.

Question:
Regarding the goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050, and gaining the involvement of United States, China, and India, how are diplomatic negotiations proceeding?

Minister:
In meetings the US and Europe have already agreed to various points. Between Japan and the US, there has already been significant dialogue with the result that the US has come significantly over to Japan's side on many points. As with the case of the US, there are quite a few countries for which, regarding the CO2 matter, it will be vital to switch over to nuclear power generation for their electrical generation needs if they are to attain the goals. As such, they seem to understand that they will have to switch over to nuclear power generation facilities for their electrical power generation. From that perspective, I'd like to ask whether or not there are other countries that have built nuclear power generation facilities during the past 10 years other than Japan. I think that there have been three or four such cases, but I do not think there are any others. Considering things from that perspective, the experience that Japan has is very important given the progress of technology during these 10 years, and therefore it will be extremely practical for those countries to team up with Japan.

Question:
Will other countries come on board with the goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050?

Minister:
Now, with things left only to the natural cleansing processes of the earth we are seeing a doubling in greenhouse gas emissions, so I think that cutting them in half would be a good target.

Related Information (Prime Minister's New Proposal on Climate Change, "Cool Earth 50")

3. Media reports on losses of art objects in overseas diplomatic establishments

Question:
There have been media reports alleging that art objects have gone missing from Japanese overseas diplomatic establishments. Is there any truth to this?

Minister:
You would do well to thoroughly check the facts. Nothing has been lost. If you do not check the facts and base your reporting on them, you are the one who is going to look bad.


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