Press Conference 20 November 2001

  1. Questions concerning a visit by Minister for Foreign Affairs Makiko Tanaka to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
  2. Question on Recent Diplomatic activity
  3. Question regarding diplomatic roles
  4. Questions concerning conferences on Afghanistan

  1. Questions concerning a visit by Minister for Foreign Affairs Makiko Tanaka to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

    Press Secretary Norio Hattori: Good afternoon. I have no announcements to make today. So I would be delighted to answer any questions that you might have.

    Q: The Foreign Minister has expressed interest in visiting Pakistan; I think it was this weekend. I just wondered if you could give us the latest on that-whether she will be going and what she will be doing?

    Mr. Hattori: Yes, I understand that Minister for Foreign Affairs Makiko Tanaka is definitely going to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

    Q: And what will be on the agenda?

    Mr. Hattori: The purpose of Foreign Minister Tanaka's visit to Pakistan at this time is, first of all, to exchange views with the leadership of Pakistan about where they stand with regard to the fight against terrorism; and secondly, to check the situation of refugees in Pakistan and discuss any further cooperation that we might be able to extend in addition to that which we have already pledged.

    Q: Has a meeting with President Perez Musharraf been arranged?

    Mr. Hattori: A meeting between Foreign Minister Tanaka and President Perez Musharraf of Pakistan will be arranged.

    Related Information (Japan-Pakistan Relations)
  2. Question on recent diplomatic activity

    Q: It has been two months since the terrorist attacks on the United States. My understanding is that the Foreign Minister has not yet been to either the Middle East or to the countries surrounding Afghanistan. Why has it taken two months for Japan's Foreign Minister to become involved?

    Mr. Hattori: It is not true that we have done nothing between 11 September and now, in fact we have sent various political dignitaries to the countries concerned. With regard to a visit to that region, as you know, there is a Diet session in progress and thus Foreign Minister Tanaka has been hampered by a busy schedule. I do not think it is necessary for me to reiterate the Government's commitment to the fight against terrorism, or the details of the assistance that we have already extended to Pakistan and its neighboring countries.

    Related Information (Japan's Measures in Response to the Terrorist Attacks in the United States)
  3. Question regarding diplomatic roles

    Q: You said that special representatives have been appointed; I understand that former Prime Minister Mori went to India and Mr. Miyazawa went to New York. Now we hear that Mrs. Ogata has been appointed a special representative on Afghanistan. So, what is left for the Foreign Minister's role?

    Mr. Hattori: The role for Foreign Minister Tanaka and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is, of course, to oversee the Government's diplomatic efforts, particularly in the case of Afghanistan and neighboring countries in the region. The individuals that you referred to have been designated as special representatives in order to cope with the special nature of the situation. Foreign Minister Tanaka and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are to oversee those special representatives and the Government's activities in that regard.

  4. Questions concerning conferences on Afghanistan

    Q: Japan has been talking about the possibility of hosting a conference on the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Does that proposal still stand, or is there any further progress still to be made?

    Mr. Hattori: There are several conferences in that regard; there is one specifically about peace and another regarding humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan. Which one are your referring to?

    Q: Well, either. Initially, Japan seemed to be talking about hosting an aid conference in Tokyo. Now we are hearing about all sorts of venues for a political settlement and Japan has not been mentioned anywhere.

    Mr. Hattori: As you know, on 20 November, local time, under the co-chairmanship of Japan and the United States of America, a high-level officials meeting on humanitarian and reconstruction assistance will be held in Washington D.C. If during that conference a decision is made with regard to a follow-up ministerial-level meeting, we will be prepared to act as host here in Tokyo sometime next year. Regarding political settlement, we understand that a meeting among Afghanistan's ethnic groups will be held somewhere in Europe, and this meeting should be welcomed. The door is still open to any possibility and, of course, the Government is prepared to abide by the wishes of the international community when it comes to our contribution to a political settlement in Afghanistan.

    Related Information (Japan-Afghanistan Relations)

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