(* 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 Koichiro Gemba

Date: Friday, June 15, 2012, 8:40 a.m.
Place: In the Diet

Main topics:

  1. Opening Remarks
    • (1) The 4th Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the Non-proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI)
    • (2) The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)
  2. Questions concerning the Deployment of Osprey aircraft in Okinawa
  3. Questions concerning Domestic Political Affairs (omitted)
  4. Questions concerning the Deployment of Osprey aircraft in Okinawa
  5. Questions concerning the Rio+20

1. Opening Remarks

(1) The 4th Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the Non-proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI)

Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba: If circumstances permit, I will attend the 4th Foreign Ministers’ Conference of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) to be held in Istanbul, Turkey on June 16.
I believe that the NPDI, in which Japan and Australia are playing leading roles, is enhancing its presence in the field of the non-proliferation and disarmament. The coming 4th Foreign Ministers’ Meeting will discuss specific ways of how the NPDI will contribute to the 2015 NPT review process, which was started this year, and will aim to share the view on strategies. Through this meeting, we will also discuss how the NPDI will actively promote a Middle East WMD-free zone.
The NPDI has not been handling issues related to specific countries, but I would like to propose to discuss the issue of Iran and the nuclear issue of North Korea, which are issues currently drawing attention in the international community.
In 2014, Japan will host the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Non-proliferation and Disarmament in Hiroshima. I would like to actively lead discussions to create a strategy and action plan for the NPDI through this meeting to issue a strong message.

(2) The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)

Minister Gemba: The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, is going to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from June 20 to June 22. In today’s Cabinet meeting, the Chief Cabinet Secretary mentioned on Japan’s initiatives to be presented at the Rio+20, and I explained the overview.
Specifically, I plan to announce Japan’s initiatives based on the following three pillars. First, I would like to share with the world Japan’s plan on the “Future Cities”, which Japan has been working on since 2010. Japan will share its knowledge and experience through the development of smart communities overseas, holding international conferences in Japan, and invitation programs for developing countries. Second, we will organize “Green Cooperation Volunteers” to contribute to the worldwide transition to a green economy. Japan will support developing countries by ODA for introduction of Japan’s technologies and infrastructure, for example in the area of renewable energy. Third point is cooperation in the area of disaster reduction. Japan will take a leadership role to realize mainstreaming of disaster reduction in the world. To that end, Japan will leverage our disaster readiness technology and know-how to help developing countries create resilient societies through Japan’s ODA. Japan will host the World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction in Tohoku in July.
Currently, the government is promoting full-cast diplomacy in cooperation with private corporations, including small-and-medium-sized companies. I hope that this initiative will lead to demonstrate Japan’s strong leadership in this area and globalize the activities of Japanese corporations with excellent environmental and disaster reduction technologies.

2. Questions concerning the Deployment of Osprey aircraft in Okinawa

Murakami, Fuji TV: What reports have you received about the accident of an Osprey aircraft? Some people are proposing to delay the implementation of the plan. How are you going to deal with Yamaguchi Prefecture and Okinawa Prefecture on this issue?

Minister Gemba: I think the incident is related to CV22 rather than MV22. I have received certain reports about this incident so far, but we have not received in-depth information. So, we asked the U.S. yesterday for further details. Minister Morimoto asked Ambassador Roos and Ambassador Fujisaki. asked the Deputy Defense Secretary so that related information can be quickly shared.

I cannot say anything about how the deployment in Japan will be affected by the incident. This incident is quite regrettable.

3. Questions concerning Domestic Political Affairs (omitted)

4. Questions concerning the Deployment of Osprey aircraft in Okinawa

 Yokota, Mainichi Shimbun: You had a chat with the Chief Cabinet Secretary and Minister Morimoto after the Cabinet meeting. What did you talk about with them? Yesterday, the Chief Cabinet Secretary stated in a press conference that Japan will not take any further actions unless detailed information is disclosed about Osprey. Does the statement mean that Japan will wait for a detailed accident investigation report first and then prepare for the deployment of Osprey?

Minister Gemba: I read the remarks made by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura. I believe what the Chief Cabinet Secretary said at that time was that he did not have sufficient explanatory information on the incident to explain it.

Miyashiro, Ryukyu Shimpo: Yesterday’s accident made people in Okinawa more resistant against the Osprey deployment. Governor Nakaima of Okinawa Prefecture showed his displeasure yesterday. A rally is going to be held on this issue in Ginowan City next Sunday and some members will come to Tokyo next week to make a petition against the deployment. Can you comment on the resentment shown by people in Okinawa?

Minister Gemba: I am fully aware of the local people’s concern about safety. I believe that we need to provide people in Okinawa with detailed explanation about this issue. Currently, we are not able to answer how the accident will impact the deployment.

5. Questions concerning the Rio+20

Ikekawa, NHK: In relation to the Rio+20, can you explain what the approximate amount of Japan’s ODA that you currently estimate is? I would like to ask you this question since you did not mention the amount a while ago.

Minister Gemba: I am still working on the details and plan to announce the final number in Rio de Janeiro.

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