(* 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 MACHIMURA Nobutaka

Date: Friday, August 31, 2007, 11:33 a.m.
Place: Briefing Room, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Main topics:

  1. Cabinet Meeting
  2. North Korean Issues
  3. Issue of Political Funds

1. Cabinet Meeting

Minister:
Good morning. There was a Cabinet meeting this morning at 10 o'clock. There were a number of clerical matters related to Timor-Leste and so forth, but there was nothing in the way of particularly significant policy matters. Aside from that, the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare spoke about the status of unemployment rate statistics, employment statistics, and so forth.

Question:
What was said in relation to Timor-Leste?

Minister:
There is an organization of the United Nations in Timor-Leste. Its mandate will be extended. I believe two headquarters personnel have been dispatched there from Japan. The mandate will be continued and extended.

Related Information (Japan- Timor-Leste Relations)

2. North Korean Issues

Question:
On North Korean issues, talks between the United States and North Korea will be starting. What are your expectations in this regard? What kind of developments are you hoping for in these talks, in light of the fact that talks between Japan and North Korea will be taking place after that?

Minister:
The total elimination of nuclear weapons is a major objective, so I think that talks between these two countries, which are in a sense the two most important players, being finalized and advanced as much as possible is probably something that not only Japan, but all of the related countries are hoping for. I have still not studied this all that closely, but I think that what constitutes "disablement" will be a somewhat significant matter. There are probably very difficult issues that exist between the two countries, such as the issue of North Korea possibly storing plutonium, for example. I therefore believe that it is important for them to make progress by carefully discussing these difficult issues one by one. Also, through this forum, the US side will be working to advance the negotiations with the North Korean side overall. In that sense, I think that the indirect pressure will be applied in a way that will advance the talks with Japan, so I am hoping for pressure to be applied from the US side.

Question:
As for support from the US side in that sense, what are your thoughts on support at the talks between the United States and North Korea regarding the abduction issue?

Minister:
That is what I mean by support.

Related Information (Japan-North Korea Relations)

3. Issue of Political Funds

(See Japanese version)


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