Press Conference by the Press Secretary 30 October, 1998

  1. Visit of Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahiko Koumura to the Republic of Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand from 2 November to 7 November
  2. Additional food assistance from Japan to the Republic of Indonesia
  3. Economic assistance from Japan to the Palestinians
  4. Reported offer of debt relief by Japan to some African countries
  5. Visit of President Jiang Zemin of the People's Republic of China to Japan
  6. Meeting between former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral of India and Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahiko Koumura
  7. Possible future visits by high-level Japanese officials or high-level Indian officials

  1. Visit of Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahiko Koumura to the Republic of Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand from 2 November to 7 November

    Deputy Press Secretary Masaki Okada: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Today, I would first like to announce the visit of Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahiko Koumura to the Republic of Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand from 2 to 7 November. In Indonesia, where the Extraordinary Session of the People's Consultative Assembly will be held on 10 November, Foreign Minister Koumura will among others, express our expectations to the Administration of President Baharuddin Jusuf Habibie that the general election now planned in May next year will be held according to the schedule and coordinate to undertake positive efforts towards political and economic reform. He will also underscore our readiness to support such efforts, including our additional support in the form of rice, which I would like to explain a bit in detail later. This Japanese assistance was decided by the Government yesterday. Foreign Minister Koumura will meet President Habibie, Foreign Minister Ali Alatas and other leaders of Indonesia.

    In Australia, Foreign Minister Koumura will conduct the first high-level dialogue with the second Howard Administration which started on 21 October. He will reconfirm our good bilateral relationship which covers a wide scope of activities including political, economic, security, cultural and other areas and our cooperative relationship in international fora and strengthen such relationship and exchange opinions on regional and international situations. Foreign Minister Koumura will meet with Prime Minister John Howard, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and others in Australia. His last destination will be New Zealand. The visit of our Japanese Foreign Minister to New Zealand takes place for the first time in seven and a half years. Therefore, Foreign Minister Koumura intends to reconfirm the good bilateral relationship and cooperative relationship in international fora, and at the same time to strengthen such cooperative relationship. Foreign Minister Koumura will meet, among others, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Don McKinnon.

    Related Information (Regional Affairs)
  2. Additional food assistance from Japan to the Republic of Indonesia

    Deputy Press Secretary Masaki Okada: Concerning this assistance in the form of rice to Indonesia, the Government of Japan will loan 200,000 tons of government-marketed rice for Indonesian food assistance. Adding up previous Japanese assistance to Indonesia in the form of such government-marketed rice, the total amounts to 750,000 tons after this 200,000 tons assistance. Japan also allowed Indonesia to purchase about 200,000 tons of rice on the international market, using a Sector Program Loan (SPL) that Japan has already pledged.

    Related Information (Japan-Indonesia Relations)
  3. Economic assistance from Japan to the Palestinians

    Q: I read that an American official announced that the United States has requested Japan to provide the Palestinians with more economic assistance. Can you respond to that?

    Mr. Okada: Economic assistance to the Palestinians might be necessary after the conclusion of the peace talks. We have not received any requests from the United States. If we receive any requests from the United States or others, we are going to examine the possibility.

    Q: Is Japan willing to give more assistance?

    Mr. Okada: As I told you, we have not received any request so we do not know what would be the contents of the request. Therefore, for the time being I can not say whether we can do that or not. We first have to see the concrete proposals.

    Related Information (Japan-Middle East Relations)
  4. Reported offer of debt relief by Japan to some African countries

    Q: There is a news report that Japan will forgive some of the debts owed by some African countries. Is that true?

    Mr. Okada: I am unable to provide you any information about that at this time.

    Related Information (Regional Affairs)
  5. Visit of President Jiang Zemin of the People's Republic of China to Japan

    Q: Could you tell me more information about Jiang Zemin's visit to Japan?

    Mr. Okada: I think last Tuesday there were some discussions between Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations Sadaaki Numata and one of the journalists and for the time being I have no additional information to give to you. If you have some particular question, I will try to answer your question.

    Q: I read a report that Jiang Zemin will visit from 25 to 30 November.

    Mr. Okada: It has not been officially decided yet, I think . It is up to the Chinese side how long President Jiang will stay in Japan. We just decided that the start of his visit is 25 November. They are still considering. That is our understanding.

    Q: I read a schedule saying that Jiang Zemin will visit Sendai, Matsushima and Sapporo.

    Mr. Okada: I know that Sendai and Sapporo are on the list of destinations for a possible visit, but we have not received any final decision from the Chinese side that they are going to visit those places.

    Related Information (Japan-China Relations)
  6. Meeting between former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral of India and Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahiko Koumura

    Q: Yesterday, former Indian Prime Minister I.K. Gujral met Prime Minister Obuchi and Foreign Minister Koumura. Can you please brief us on the talks they had?

    Mr. Okada: Former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral of India met Prime Minister Obuchi as well as Foreign Minister Koumura yesterday. First of all, both sides agreed that there is a traditional friendship between Japan and India and both sides shall maintain and promote friendly relations. This is the best setting of the meetings. At the same time, from the Japanese side, we also expressed our regret that nuclear tests were undertaken under the present administration of India. The Japanese side understands the Indian concern about its security. We recognize that a series of policy statements recently made by the leaders of the Government of India constitutes progress. However we further call on India to progress further on the design toward the firm maintenance of the non-proliferation scheme which is the shared concern of the international community. Former Prime Minister Gujral explained the Indian view about its security and also its stance concerning nuclear weapons. Especially, he explained to us that India makes commitments to non-proliferation itself but India is not under the nuclear umbrella and is surrounded by nuclear states. Therefore, India has some difficult considerations at this time. He promised us that he is going to inform the Government of India of the message from the Japanese leaders.

    Related Information (Japan-India Relations)
  7. Possible future visits by high-level Japanese officials or high-level Indian officials

    Q: Is there a plan for any high-level Japanese officials to visit India soon or any high-level Indian officials to visit Japan soon?

    Mr. Okada: We are still coordinating with the Indian side concerning the holding of these kind of consultations.

    Related Information (Japan-India Relations)

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