Press Conference by the Press Secretary 26 July 1996

  1. Introduction to the press conference and announcements to the Press
    1. Self introduction and opening remarks by International Press Division Director Hidehiko Hamada
    2. Press conference summer break
    3. Ministerial Conference on Terrorism to be held in Paris
  2. Policy of Japan on the Senkaku Islands
  3. The Kita Kojima light tower

  1. Introduction to the press conference and announcements to the Press
    1. Self introduction and opening remarks by International Press Division Director Hidehiko Hamada

      Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hidehiko Hamada: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to our Ministry of Foreign Affairs regular press conference. This is, in fact, my first appearance at these regular press conferences, so let me take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Hidehiko Hamada and I have recently been appointed Director of the International Press Division. I should say at the outset that I am conducting this press conference on Deputy Press Secretary Ken Shimanouchi's behalf, as he is currently in Jakarta for the ASEAN Regional Forum and ASEAN Post Ministerial Meetings. If there is anyone who might have missed the former briefings on these important events, please let us know so we may provide you with the pertinent documentation. Furthermore, I would like to take this opportunity to express how much I look forward to getting to know all of you and to establishing strong working relationships in the process. Together, with your cooperation, I believe we can significantly enhance the conveyance of Japanese foreign policy information to the international community at large. To this end, I would like to remind you that the door to my Division is always open -- my colleagues are eager to welcome you, and to provide you with the timely and accurate information you need. For my part, I intend to utilize all the resources at my disposal to provide you with the most comprehensive information possible regarding Japan's policies on the issues of the day. I therefore hope that you will think of the International Press Division as the place to turn to for information as newsworthy developments unfold. Once again, I look forward to working with all of you in the months ahead.

    2. Press conference summer break

      Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hidehiko Hamada: Also, as you may know, coinciding with the summer holiday, this is the last regular press conference before the August break, after which we will resume our regular press conference on Tuesday, 3 September at 14:00.

    3. Ministerial Conference on Terrorism to be held in Paris

      Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hidehiko Hamada: I am sure that my colleagues have distributed the pertinent documents concerning the Ministerial Conference on Terrorism to be held on 30 July in Paris. Minister for Foreign Affairs Yukihiko Ikeda will be attending the Conference, and National Public Safety Commission Chairman Hiroyuki Kurata is scheduled to attend as well. We believe the Conference to be extremely important, and that it will be a great success.

      Those are the announcements that I wanted to make, and I will be delighted to respond to any questions that you might have.

  2. Policy of Japan on the Senkaku Islands

    Q: Recently, a right-wing group built a light tower in the Senkaku Islands which has caused strong protest by neighboring countries. It is thought that there will be about 200 Taiwanese fishing boats going to the Senkaku Islands to protest from 28 July. How will the Japanese Government deal with this, and secondly, what is your personal opinion on this matter?

    A: First of all, we know that there is such a report in Taiwan. But, to be very frank, I would like to refrain from making comments at this stage on how we would respond to this. But, as you may know, our Government has repeatedly stated our basic formal position on the Senkaku Islands, which is that legally and historically, the Senkaku Islands have always been a part of Japanese territory. Certainly, Japan has effective control over the Islands, and there is no territorial issue regarding them. That is the main point. We think this is an important issue, but with all these factors in mind, we would like to further examine, carefully, how we will proceed further. You also mentioned that you wanted my personal opinion, too. As a matter of course, we value the currently existing friendly relations between Japan and Taiwan, and personally, I would like to say that because of this sort of issue, I would hope that the existing amicable relations are not jeopardized. This is my personal opinion.

  3. The Kita Kojima light tower

    Q: There are some reports that the Japanese Government actually promised the Chinese side that they would dismantle the lighthouse probably in the near future. Can you confirm this, and also, the Taiwanese report saying that dismantling will occur in the very near future? So, could you confirm if the Japanese Government really wants to remove the lighthouse?

    A: To be frank, we do not have that sort of news. Therefore, I cannot confirm that point. But, I do not think that is the case.

    Q: Apparently, the Seinensha already applied to this Maritime Safety Agency that they wanted this lighthouse to be admitted as a formal one of the Japanese Government. I have heard that within one month, they have to make a decision about whether the lighthouse can be a formal one. So, what do you think the Japanese Government intends to do?

    A: On this second question, all I can say at this juncture is that we know that such an application has been lodged -- so we have heard. As to how we will handle this application, as I mentioned earlier, having all the various factors in mind, we would like to carefully consider it within our Government.

    Q: Could you also confirm that, in Jakarta, the Chinese foreign minister met with Japanese Foreign Minister Ikeda, and they have talked about this, actually, in their bilateral talks -- that they have talked about this issue? Therefore, we are kind of speculating that there might be a secret agreement between the two sides. Because, this information is coming from Chinese Government Spokesman Shin -- he held a press conference saying that they have talked about the issue and actually reached agreement.

    A: Again, to be frank, we are not aware of this; but, we understand that this issue was not taken up at the ministerial meeting -- so we have heard. Thank you very much.


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