Press Conference 10 April 2003

  1. Question concerning information sources in Iraq
  2. Question concerning reconstruction of Iraq

  1. Question concerning information sources in Iraq

    Assistant Press Secretary Jiro Okuyama: Good afternoon. I have no announcement to make today. If you have any questions I would be happy to answer.

    Q: Does Japan have a diplomatic mission stationed in Iraq?

    Mr. Okuyama: We do.

    Q: How do you get all your information from the Iraqi area?

    Mr. Okuyama: The Embassy of Japan in Iraq is now looked after by local staff members. We obtain information from them. Furthermore, we have our embassies in Amman in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and in the State of Kuwait, which work as important information-gathering points for us.

    Q: Do you get enough information through your own channels?

    Mr. Okuyama: I am not quite sure if we can call it "enough". There is certainly a limit to what we are able to know about the military operations taking place inside Iraq, but we also use other channels to supplement our own information.

    Q: Can you give an example?

    Mr. Okuyama: We maintain contact with governments, groups and people as part of our normal diplomatic activities.

    Q: The situation is getting more exciting as we are coming very close to the end of this war, so we would like to get as much information and as quickly as possible. Can you give us the latest information?

    Mr. Okuyama: As Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi said this morning, although there is still fighting going on in Baghdad and in certain other areas, we think that the military action is in its final phases, and Japan would like to welcome that we now have the cessation of the military action in sight. We hope that the military action will come to an end as early as possible and also that the security situation on the ground in Iraq will improve. We believe that it is necessary for us to continue to watch carefully how the military situation develops in the future. At the same time however, we feel that it is now time to start considering what Iraq should be like in the aftermath of the military action.

    Japan would like to actively deal with the humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to Iraq based on the five principles as enunciated by Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi. She has just arrived in Europe for consultations with the three foreign ministers of the Federal Republic of Germany, the French Republic and the United Kingdom. We would like to have close consultation with the countries concerned including these three, especially on the issues of the rebuilding of international collaboration and cooperation and what kind of role the United Nations should play in the reconstruction of Iraq.

    Related Information (The Issue of Iraq)
    Related Information (Press Conference by Ms Yoriko KAWAGUCHI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan)
    Related Information (Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi's Visit to Europe)
  2. Question concerning reconstruction of Iraq

    Q: Do you not think that it is too early, on the 22nd day of war, to already be talking about reconstruction?

    Mr. Okuyama: I think the American leadership is calling for caution because the war is not quite over yet. We are monitoring carefully what is happening in the northern part of Iraq. Therefore, as I said, we will need to continue to watch carefully how the military situation develops.

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