Press Conference 30 October 2001

  1. Update on Japan's initiatives in response to terrorism
  2. Question regarding a Japanese national in Afghanistan

  1. Update on Japan's initiatives in response to terrorism

    Press Secretary Norio Hattori: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. First of all, the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Bill, which has been debated in the Diet, was finally approved yesterday and will go into effect on 2 November. It is my pleasure to inform you that a detailed briefing on the contents of this special bill will be given tomorrow in this Ministry, and I would like to invite those of you who are interested to attend the briefing.

    I would also like to update you about Japan's contribution to the international effort to combat terrorism in response to the terrorist attacks in the United States of America. As part of our contribution to this international effort, a decision was made at today's Cabinet meeting to extend emergency grant aid of US$3.3 million to assist Afghan refugees through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). You may recall that the Government stated on 4 October that it would provide assistance up to US$120 million, which is approximately 20 percent of total funding requirements. This is in accordance with basic requests that the Government has received for the Afghan refugees assistance effort undertaken by United Nations agencies and other humanitarian organizations. As part of that assistance Japan announced that it would provide US$6 million, again approximately 20 percent of the emergency appeal by the UNHCR. The total amount requested by the UNHCR at this time for the emergency appeal amounts to US$29 million, which is needed as initial funding for the first two months to prepare for accepting Afghan refugees moving into other countries. The US$3.3 million mentioned earlier is part of this US$6 million and the remaining amount, approximately US$2.7 million, will come from the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, which was established as the result of an initiative undertaken by Japan.

    Furthermore, at today's Cabinet meeting the Government gave its approval for the signing of the international Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. It is anticipated that Japan will sign this treaty in New York, perhaps as early as tomorrow.

    Also, I would like to mention that Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Kharrazi of the Islamic Republic of Iran will visit Japan from 1 to 2 November. Foreign Minister Kharrazi will carry a letter from President Mohammad Khatami to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. During his stay in Japan, Foreign Minister Kharrazi is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Koizumi and various officials.

    In addition, Minister of Finance Shaukat Aziz, Special Envoy of President Perez Musharraf of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, will visit Japan from 31 October to 3 November.

    Finally, as you may be aware, former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori is now visiting the Republic of India in the capacity of Special Envoy for Prime Minister Koizumi.

    Related Information (Policy & Measures)
  2. Question regarding a Japanese national in Afghanistan

    Q: There was a rumor and news about a Japanese freelance journalist detained by Taliban authorities, and that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials in Pakistan are trying to resolve this issue. Could you give me some details about that?

    Mr. Hattori: Yesterday, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Sadaaki Numata met with the Taliban representative in Islamabad to discuss this issue and to request the early release of this Japanese journalist. Since we have no diplomatic relations with the Taliban it is rather difficult for us to carry out negotiations for the release of this journalist. However, we have begun diplomatic efforts to that effect, and we would like to do our utmost so that this gentleman will be released safely. I have no further comments on that today.

    Related Information (Japan-Afghanistan Relations)

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