(* 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 Hirofumi Nakasone

Date: Tuesday, June 30, 2009, 9:52 a.m.
Place: In front of the Ministers' Room in the House

Main topics:

  1. Japan-ROK Summit Meeting (Five-Party Talks)
  2. "Secret Pact on the Transportation of Nuclear Weapons"
  3. Report of the Crash of a Yemen Airways Airplane
  4. Issue of the Northern Territories

1. Japan-ROK Summit Meeting (Five-Party Talks)

Question:
At the Japan-ROK Summit Meeting, there was an agreement to consider five-party talks. Is there a concrete timeline for this? There is some talk that it will be scheduled for the ASEAN Regional Forum next month.

Minister:
It hasn't been decided that talks will be held. Up until now, we have conducted various bilateral and multilateral consultations and talks on North Korean issues, and the shared opinion has emerged that it may be meaningful to hold talks among five countries within the framework of the Six-Party Talks. No details, such as the timing, have been decided upon yet.

Related Information (Japan-ROK Relations)
Related Information (Japan-North Korea Relations)

2. "Secret Pact on the Transportation of Nuclear Weapons"

Question:
On the issue of US forces transporting nuclear weapons, a former Vice Minister has stated that there was a secret pact that the US could bring nuclear weapons into Japan without prior consultation and that there was a document explaining this. What is your opinion on this?

Minister:
I am aware of the media reports. However, as the Government has continuously stated, such a secret pact does not exist. Past Prime Ministers and past Ministers for Foreign Affairs have clearly denied the existence of such a secret pact.

Question:
Regarding this matter, a senior government official has made a statement along the lines that this document is not supposed to exist, that it does not officially exist. What do you think of statements like this?

Minister:
I do not know which senior government official you are talking about. I was not aware of such a statement; this is the first I have heard of it.

Question:
Regarding that statement on the secret pact for the transportation of nuclear weapons, why do you think this sort of statement was made at this time?

Minister:
That is not something that I am in a position to know.

Question:
The former Vice-Minister also said that he told Ministers for Foreign Affairs about the document during the era of the Nakasone Cabinet. What is your opinion on this?

Minister:
I do not know about what was said during what era, but this secret pact does not exist. It is as the Government has been stating.

Question:
Concerning the secret pact, there have been a series of incidents where official documents in the US indicating the existence of a secret pact have come out, leading to retired Foreign Ministry officials recanting what they said when they were at the Ministry, followed by current Foreign Ministry officials denying everything. I believe that these incidents are hurting the trustworthiness and value of the words of Japanese diplomacy. What is your opinion on this?

Minister:
First of all, such documents do not exist, which also points to the fact that the secret pact does not exist. Secondly, under the Japan-US Security Treaty, the transportation of nuclear weapons by US forces into Japan is subject to so-called "bilateral consultation" or "prior consultation." There have never been talks regarding prior consultation for the transportation of nuclear weapons from the US side up until now. Either way, there has never been a secret pact; there is no doubt about this.

Related Information (Japan-U.S. Relations)

3. Report of the Crash of a Yemen Airways Airplane

Question:
There has been an accident in Yemen involving an airplane with 150 passengers. Do you have any information relating to possible Japanese passengers?

Minister:
We are currently gathering information on this matter.

4. Issue of the Northern Territories

Question:
It has been reported that the Russian government has decided to forgo making a proposal regarding the Northern Territories. Such a proposal was scheduled to be presented by the Russian side at the G8 Summit Meeting in L'Aquila.

Minister:
I am aware of such reports. When the Prime Minister went to Sakhalin, there was discussion about this, and we are expecting the Russian side to present some kind of plan at the coming Summit Meeting. We are now focusing on how the Russian side will handle this.

Question:
The Russian side is citing "the Prime Minister's statement regarding the illegal occupation" of the Northern Territories as the reason for this. What do you think about this reason?

Minister:
This is a matter of the Russian side. Even if the situation is as being reported, we are not in a position to know the reason. I hope that the coming Summit Meeting in Italy will be fruitful in advancing the resolution of the Northern Territories issue.

Related Information (Japan's Northern Territories)


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