(* 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, September 1, 2009, 10:06 a.m.
Place: Briefing room, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- The Shirakaba Gas Field in the East China Sea
- The Secret Agreement Issue
1. The Shirakaba Gas Field in the East China Sea
In the previous press conference, we discussed the arrival of a Chinese vessel to the Shirakaba gas field in the East China Sea. Have there been any new developments since then?
We have been paying attention to this matter. We conveyed our position to the Chinese side. We will keep paying attention to this matter.
Has the vessel left or started new activities?
We have been watching over the situation. We believe we should deliver a serious protest justly and make an appropriate response as a whole government depending on the timing and the way the agreements are violated, if anything should happen that goes against our agreement.
2. The Secret Agreement Issue
It seems that Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mitoji Yabunaka, has somewhat changed his statement, or shall we say, he is wavering on the secret agreement issue in his press conferences. At one time he said, "Interpretations have differed between Japan and the US," and on a different occasion he stated, "An investigation may be conducted." Does the position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs continue to be that there has been neither a secret agreement on the introduction of nuclear weapons, nor a secret agreement on the return of Okinawa?
My position remains unchanged from what I explained in the past. Regarding the Vice-Minister's remarks, I believe that he and I share the same stance, basically. I am not aware of which period in time the Vice-Minister was talking about, but naturally diplomacy involves communications with counterparts. I believe what the Vice-Minister meant to say was that there had definitely been such communications. Whether or not the matter shall be on the agenda for prior consultations cannot be decided without making communications or contacts. It is natural that general communications took place because this is a diplomatic matter. This is my interpretation of the Vice-Minister's remarks.
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