Press Conference 15 October 2004

  1. Congratulatory message from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to Prime Minister Hun Sen of the Kingdom of Cambodia on the selection of the new king
  2. Statement by the Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations on the ballistic missile testing by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
  3. TICAD Asia-Africa Trade and Investment Conference (AATIC)
  4. Question concerning upcoming TICAD Trade and Development Conference
  5. Questions concerning recent incidents in Okinawa
  6. Questions concerning possible selection of Japan as a non-permanent member to the United Nations Security Council

  1. Congratulatory message from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to Prime Minister Hun Sen of the Kingdom of Cambodia on the selection of the new king

    Press Secretary Hatsuhisa Takashima: Good afternoon and thank you very much for coming to the briefing. Today, I would like to make three announcements before I take questions.

    The first announcement is about the congratulatory message from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to Prime Minister Hun Sen of the Kingdom of Cambodia on the selection of the new king.

    Prime Minister Koizumi yesterday sent a message of congratulations to Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia on the selection of Prince Norodom Sihamoni as the successor of King Norodom Sihanouk at the Council of the Crown held yesterday. This message was conveyed to the Cambodian Prime Minister's Office by the Japanese Embassy in Phnom Penh. In this message, Prime Minister Koizumi expressed his sincere congratulations on the selection of the new king and stated that Japan will continue its assistance for the nation-building effort of Cambodia through which Cambodia will continue to stride toward peace and prosperity.

    Related Information (Japan-Cambodia Relations)
  2. Statement by the Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations on the ballistic missile testing by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

    Mr. Takashima: The second announcement is about the test firing of ballistic missiles by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

    The Government of Japan reiterates its deep regret that Pakistan conducted a ballistic missile test on 12 October despite the continued efforts by the international community to promote the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.

    The Japanese Government further calls on Pakistan to respond sincerely to the efforts by the international community to promote the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.

    Related Information (Statement by the Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Ballistic Missile Testing by Pakistan)
  3. TICAD Asia-Africa Trade and Investment Conference (AATIC)

    Mr. Takashima: The third announcement is about the Asia-Africa Trade and Investment Conference (AATIC) in conjunction with the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).

    The TICAD Asia-Africa Trade and Investment Conference will be held on 1 and 2 November in Tokyo. This conference will be co-organized by the Government of Japan, the United Nations, the Global Coalition of Africa (GCA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank and will be participated by the representatives of African and Asian countries, international and African regional organizations, and African and Asian private enterprises.

    The conference will be held as part of follow-up actions of the Third Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD III) with a view to realizing "poverty reduction through economic growth" by promoting self-reliant and sustainable economic growth in Africa through trade and investment between Asia and Africa that have been showing remarkable increase in recent years. The participants will discuss the present situation and potential of trade and investment between Asia and Africa, and concrete measures for the future.

    Side events are also scheduled, such as an exhibition of various African products and a series of investment promotion seminars, with the aim of promoting trade and investment toward Africa.

    Related Information (TICAD Asia-Africa Trade and Investment Conference)
  4. Question concerning upcoming TICAD Trade and Development Conference

    Q: I was wondering if you could tell us who is likely to serve as chairperson at the TICAD Trade and Investment Conference?

    Mr. Takashima: The conference chairperson has not been decided yet.

  5. Question concerning recent incidents in Okinawa

    Q: Given the developments in the realignment of the US Forces and especially the burden on the people of Okinawa, could you comment on the helicopter crash in August? Also, there have been reports that the perpetrator of the sexual assault incident in August has been arrested. Could you tell us your thoughts on that?

    Mr. Takashima: We regret that the helicopter accident in Okinawa occurred and threatened the lives of the Okinawan people. The Government of Japan expressed its view to the Government of the United States of America, and both sides have taken necessary measures for the prevention of recurrence of this kind of accident. At the same time, the US side made it very clear that it would take utmost care for preventing a recurrence.

    On the issue of the sexual assault case, Director-General of the North American Affairs Bureau Shin Ebihara strongly protested to Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Tokyo Michael W. Michalak about the occurrence of this rape case and asked the American side to take necessary measures to prevent the recurrence of this kind of a serious crime in Okinawa by personnel related to the American military forces.

    Related Information (Japan-The United States Relations)
  6. Questions concerning possible selection of Japan as a non-permanent member to the United Nations Security Council

    Q: Later today, it will be decided whether Japan will be selected as a non-permanent member to the United Nations Security Council. Can you please comment on this?

    Mr. Takashima: This is a very significant move of the United Nations to select Japan as a non-permanent of the UN Security Council. To my knowledge, this is the ninth occasion for Japan to be a non-permanent member. This selection is very significant because Japan is promoting its candidature for permanent membership at the Security Council along with the efforts by the UN to reform itself. We believe that this role as a non-permanent member by Japan at the United Nations Security Council will further prove that Japan is an eligible candidate as a permanent member of the Security Council. By becoming a permanent member, Japan can play a central role at the UN for promoting peace and prosperity for the international community and the world itself.

    Q: On the same issue, there has been serious concern over the past year or two since the war on Iraq started about whether the UN Security Council can function to resolve international conflict. With Japan being expected to be a member of the Security Council, what kind of role do you think Japan has in this kind of issue?

    Mr. Takashima: As a matter of fact, during the course of the United Nations debate on the Iraqi issues, Japan was not a member of the Security Council. Yet, Japan tried very hard to be an effective member of the international community which would bridge the differences and gaps that existed among the members of the Security Council. I believe that Japan played a pivotal role in promoting international solidarity in making an effort for a solution to the Iraqi issues.

    Indeed, this Iraqi situation at the United Nations and in the international community clearly indicated the difficulty existing in today's world for the formation of international solidarity and togetherness for tackling with an issue of global concern. This is precisely the reason the international community is thinking seriously about UN reform. By becoming a non-permanent member of the Security Council as well as advocating its eligibility to become a permanent member of the Security Council, Japan will further promote the movement toward UN reform, especially reform of the Security Council, so that the UN will be revitalized to become once again the central institution to resolve international issues and problems.

    Related Information (Japan and the United Nations)

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