Press Conference 21 September 2001

  1. Visit by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the United States of America
  2. Letters from Prime Minister Koizumi to leaders of the Moslem world
  3. Ceremony for all victims of the terrorist attacks in the United States
  4. Question in relation to Japan's diplomatic efforts
  5. Follow-up question concerning a letter to President Mohammad Khatami of the Islamic Republic of Iran
  6. Question on measures in response to the terrorist attacks
  7. Question in regard to displaced persons

  1. Visit by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the United States of America

    Assistant Press Secretary Daisuke Matsunaga: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have three announcements to make. My first announcement is on the visit of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the United States of America.

    Prime Minister Koizumi will visit the United States and meet with President George W. Bush on 25 September in Washington D.C. Prime Minister Koizumi will leave Japan on 24 September and return on 26 September.

    At the meeting, Prime Minister Koizumi will convey Japan's strong support as an ally for the United States in its combat against international terrorism. Prime Minister Koizumi will also express his resolve not to spare any efforts at extending necessary assistance or cooperation. In addition, Prime Minister Koizumi will explain the measures that he announced on 19 September. The leaders will also discuss future actions.

    Prior to Washington, Prime Minister Koizumi is considering visiting the site of the attacks in New York and meeting with families of the missing people.

    Related Information (Japan-The United States Relations)
    Related Information (Japan's Measures in Response to the Terrorist Attacks in the United States)
  2. Letters from Prime Minister Koizumi to leaders of the Moslem world

    Mr. Matsunaga: My second announcement is concerning Prime Minister Koizumi's letters to the leaders of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the State of Qatar.

    On 19 September, Prime Minister Koizumi sent out letters to President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, President Mohammad Khatami of Iran, Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz al- Saud of Saudi Arabia, and Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani of Qatar. The letter to each leader was sent as part of Japan's diplomatic efforts, based on the belief that the international community must jointly express its unbending opposition to terrorism in connection with the terrorist attacks in the United States.

    Prime Minister Koizumi expressed in his letters to those leaders of the Moslem world that he was encouraged by the fact that their countries strongly condemned the terrorist attacks. Prime Minister Koizumi also said that in order to prevent any recurrence of these acts of terrorism, the international community should stand together to denounce those attacks and, furthermore, that those attacks should not be associated with Islam.

    Related Information (Japan-Middle East Relations)
  3. Ceremony for all victims of the terrorist attacks in the United States

    Mr. Matsunaga: My third announcement is about the holding of a ceremony for all victims of the terrorist attacks in the United States.

    On Sunday, 23 September, from 14:00 to 15:00 the America-Japan Society Inc., a private sector organization, and the Government of Japan will jointly host a ceremony for all victims of the terrorist attacks in the United States. The ceremony will be held at Tokyo Big Sight.

    The terrorist attacks in the United States, which claimed so many precious lives, were extremely vicious and totally unacceptable acts of violence. This ceremony will provide an opportunity for people to express their condolences for all those who lost their lives and offer prayers for the safety of those who are still missing, and to extend sympathy to all, particularly to the families of those affected. All people who share these sentiments are welcome to attend the ceremony. And all press are encouraged to cover this event.

    If you are interested in attending, you can register at the reception desk on the day starting from 11:30.

    Related Information (Ceremony for the victims of the Terrorist Attacks in the United States of America)
  4. Question in relation to Japan's diplomatic efforts

    Q: When Mr. Yohei Kono was Foreign Minister he had an important initiative to establish a committee for dialogue among civilizations, building the ground for greater understanding with the Islamic world. I wonder if this committee is still active and continuing with its work? You just mentioned that Prime Minister Koizumi, in his letters to some of the Islamic world's leaders, mentioned the issue between terrorism and Islam. Is Japan going to use this committee to fulfill this?

    Mr. Matsunaga: It is always important to understand each other better. I think we should take advantage of every opportunity in order to deepen our mutual understanding. Definitely, I will look into the status of the current dialogue for you.

  5. Follow-up question concerning a letter to President Mohammad Khatami of the Islamic Republic of Iran

    Q: Has Prime Minister Koizumi asked Iran for any cooperation to help the United States attack Afghanistan? Given Prime Minister Koizumi sent a message to the Iranian President, was there any question concerning cooperation with the United States to attack the terrorists in Afghanistan?

    Mr. Matsunaga: In general terms, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that it is encouraging that Iran, and those other countries, strongly denounced the terrorist attacks. And Prime Minister Koizumi also stated that in order not to see any recurrence of such despicable acts it is important that the international community stands together.

    Related Information (Japan-Iran Relations)
  6. Question on measures in response to the terrorist attacks

    Q: In light of the measures that Prime Minister Koizumi announced two days ago, during the coming days or weeks will there be changes in legislation in order to enable Japan to enact these measures?

    Mr. Matsunaga: We are now in the process of working very hard, in this context, to determine what we have to do to be able to implement those measures announced on 19 September. We are not ruling out possibilities.

    Related Information (Japan's Measures in Response to the Terrorist Attacks in the United States)
  7. Question in regard to displaced persons

    Q: If the United States attacks Afghanistan there might be a lot of refugees going to surrounding countries. What will Japan do in that case?

    Mr. Matsunaga: One of the seven measures already announced by Prime Minister Koizumi on 19 September touches upon the possibility of extending humanitarian assistance to displaced persons. Item six states, "the Government of Japan will provide assistance to the displaced persons as necessary. This will include the possibility of humanitarian assistance by Self-Defense Forces".

    Related Information (Japan's Measures in Response to the Terrorist Attacks in the United States)

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