Press Conference by the Press Secretary 2 February, 1999


  1. On the Kosovo situation
  2. Meeting in Tokyo on 25 and 26 February of the Consultative Group on Cambodia
  3. Meeting in Tokyo on 11 February of the Senior Officials task force on nuclear tests by the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
  4. Result of meeting between the Government of the United States of America and the Republic of India on the status of sanctions against the Republic of India

  1. On the Kosovo Situation

    Press Secretary Sadaaki Numata: Good afternoon. I have a couple of announcements to make. Firstly, with respect to the situation in Kosovo. As you know, the Foreign Ministers of the Contact Group issued a statement for a political solution to the Kosovo issue. We support this new initiative recently taken by the Contact Group for a political solution to the Kosovo issue. We strongly hope that the parties, namely the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Kosovo Albanians, will begin negotiations within the time limit and quickly reach an interim agreement concerning the status of Kosovo in accordance with the demand of the Contact Group. The time limit mentioned is that the parties are to meet in Rambouillet in the French Republic within a week, that is by 6 February, to reach an interim agreement within a week after the beginning of the negotiations and even if there may be some delay, to reach this agreement at the latest within three weeks, that is by 20 February. We urge both sides to halt military action immediately, so that there will be no further increase in the number of victims in Kosovo, and we urge the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to cooperate with the activities of the Kosovo Verification Mission and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, in compliance with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. We conveyed this stance today to Dr. Radoslav Bulajic, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to Japan. Deputy Director-General Yutaka Iimura of the European and Oceanic Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked Ambassador Bulajic to come in this morning and we conveyed our stance as I have just outlined.

  2. Meeting in Tokyo on 25 and 26 February of the Consultative Group on Cambodia

    Press Secretary Sadaaki Numata: The second announcement is on the convening of the Consultative Group on Cambodia, that is the Donors Group meeting which is to take place in Tokyo on 25 and 26 February. It will be chaired by the World Bank. We expect that there will be about 17 countries participating; the Kingdom of Cambodia, Japan, France and others and seven international organizations including, I mentioned the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Union (EU) and other international organizations. The items to be discussed are for example, the macroeconomic situation in Cambodia, aid coordination among the donors and forest conservation which is an important issue in the sense that the illegal exploitation of the lumber has caused a serious problem, not only in terms of environmental degradation but also in terms of what I might call the hemorrhage of funds to the outside world and not being utilized to help the development of Cambodia. There is also the question of the support to the former military personnel of the Cambodian Armed Forces which is something that the new Cambodian Government has to grapple with. In conjunction with this Consultative Group meeting, we have invited Prime Minister Hun Sen of the Kingdom of Cambodia to come to Japan and he will be attending the meeting as well.

    Related Information (Japan-Cambodia Relations)
  3. Meeting in Tokyo on 11 February of the Senior Officials task force on nuclear tests by the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

    Q: Can you comment on the G8 task force on nuclear tests by India and Pakistan?

    Mr. Numata: Yes. This task force meeting, what you call the Senior Officials task force of not only the Group of Eight (G8) but several other participants, will be taking place in Tokyo at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 11 February. As you may recall, following the G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting on the subject, I think it was in June last year, there was this expanded G8 task force meeting, the first meeting in July last year in London and the second meeting again in London in October last year. It was in the course of this second meeting that the suggestion was made that Japan might chair the third meeting which is what we are doing this time. The meeting will be attended by senior officials, namely Directors-General or Deputy Directors-General of the G8 countries as well as the Argentine Republic, the Federative Republic of Brazil, Ukraine, Australia and the Republic of Korea. The Republic of Korea will be participating for the first time. The meeting will be chaired by Director-General Nobuyasu Abe of Arms Control and Scientific Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Director-General Akio Suda of the same department will be the Chief Japanese delegate. The meeting is designed to consider the medium- to long-term responses to the nuclear testing by the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan last year. Among the agenda items that may be taken up are: firstly, a comparing of notes or exchange of information about the bilateral contacts that each of the participating countries has had with India and Pakistan; secondly, assessment of the responses by India and Pakistan to the sort of items that the international community would like to see India and Pakistan realize, the sort of items which were enumerated in Security Council Resolution 11/72 last year; and thirdly, confidence building in South Asia in the wake of the nuclear testing last year. These are the sorts of items that may be discussed. I may add also that whereas the first two meetings, the first one in July last year and the second one in October last year, spent a lot of time discussing procedural matters, we expect that there may be some further discussions of substance as I have indicated by the examples of the sorts of items which may be discussed in this meeting.

    Related Information (Response of the Government of Japan to the Nuclear Tests Conducted by India and Pakistan)
  4. Result of meeting between the Government of the United States of America and the Republic of India on the status of sanctions against the Republic of India

    Q: There has been great progress in talks between India and the US on nuclear issues now. The US is consulting other G8 nations including Japan on the lifting of sanctions before India can sign the CTBT. Could you please comment on this?

    Mr. Numata: Actually, we are now in the process of being de-briefed by the Government of the United States of America on their bilateral consultation with India. I am aware of some of the press reports on this meeting, reporting progress in some way or other, but to the extent that this is a bilateral consultation between the United States and India, I do not think we should put ourselves in the position of de-briefing the outside world on behalf of either the Government of the United States or the Government of the Republic of India or to offer our own assessment of these talks. I think we need firstly, to be fully de-briefed and then we will need to take stock on the basis of the de-briefing. On our own part, as you know, we are continuing with the efforts to revive the dialogue both with the Government of India and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. With respect to India, as you know, there was a Vice-Ministerial-level consultation in Tokyo just a few weeks ago. With respect to Pakistan, Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan came to Tokyo, as I recall in December last year. So we do have an ongoing dialogue.

    Related Information (Response of the Government of Japan to the Nuclear Tests Conducted by India and Pakistan)

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