Press Conference 10 September 2004

  1. Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi on the terrorist attack in Jakarta, Indonesia
  2. Upcoming visit by Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi to Beijing, People's Republic of China
  3. Recent meeting between Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mustafa Osman Ismail of the Republic of the Sudan
  4. Questions concerning Japan-US-ROK Talks
  5. Question concerning Prime Minister Koizumi's recent inspection of Northern Territories
  6. Question concerning North Korean abduction issue

  1. Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi on the terrorist attack in Jakarta, Indonesia

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

    In the wake of the terrorist attack in Jakarta, Republic of Indonesia, Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi issued the following statement today in which she said:

    I am deeply shocked by the huge terrorist bombing attack that occurred near the Australian Embassy in the center of Jakarta, causing many deaths and injuries. I extend my sincere sympathy for those who were killed in the incident and condolences to the bereaved families, and heartfelt sympathy to the many injured.

    The attack is an extremely brutal and unforgivable act that follows the attacks that occurred in Bali in October 2002 and at a hotel in Jakarta in August 2003. Barbaric terrorist attacks that cruelly target many innocent civilians cannot be justified for any reason, and Japan strongly condemns such acts.

    Japan will continue to work proactively in the fight against terrorism in cooperation with the international community, and also provide cooperation and support for the Government of Indonesia in carrying out anti-terrorism measures.

    Japan hopes that the cause of the attack will be promptly investigated, and will continue exerting utmost efforts in gathering related security information concerning Japanese nationals.

    In this regard, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi sent a message of condolence to President Megawati Soekarnoputri of Indonesia today and offered any assistance Japan can provide to the Indonesian Government for the investigation of this attack and implementation of the necessary measures to prevent the recurrence of terrorist activities in Indonesia.

    Foreign Minister Kawaguchi also sent a message of condolence to Minister of Foreign Affairs Noer Hassan Wirajuda of Indonesia as well as a message of solidarity to fight against terrorism to Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer of the Commonwealth of Australia.

    Related Information (Statement by Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the Terrorist Attack in Jakarta, Indonesia)
  2. Upcoming visit by Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi to Beijing, People's Republic of China

    Mr. Takashima: Foreign Minister Kawaguchi will visit Beijing, People's Republic of China from 11 to 13 September.

    During her stay in China, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi will attend the China Business Summit 2004 hosted by the World Economic Forum and deliver a speech there. Foreign Minister Kawaguchi is also scheduled to meet Mr. Tang Jiaxuan, State Councilor, to exchange views on various matters including Japan-China relations. This will be Foreign Minister Kawaguchi's fifth visit to China following those in September 2002, April 2003, April 2004 and June 2004.

    Related Information (Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Visit the People's Republic of China)
  3. Recent meeting between Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mustafa Osman Ismail of the Republic of the Sudan

    Mr. Takashima: Prime Minister Koizumi met with visiting Minister of Foreign Affairs Mustafa Osman Ismail of the Republic of the Sudan yesterday at the Prime Minister's Office in Tokyo. At this meeting, Foreign Minister Ismail conveyed a written message from President Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir of Sudan to Prime Minister Koizumi. They mostly discussed the situation in Sudan. Prime Minister Koizumi said that he shares anxiety and concern for the humanitarian crisis in Darfur in Sudan with other members of the international community. Prime Minister Koizumi urged Foreign Minister Ismail to make an utmost effort to stabilize the situation. Prime Minister Koizumi also said that because of the abundance of natural resources in Sudan, economic relations including investment and trade between Sudan and other countries including Japan will certainly increase once peace and stability are restored in this war-torn country.

    Related Information (Japan-Sudan Relations)
  4. Questions concerning Japan-US-ROK Talks

    Q: Can you tell us as much as possible what you know about the Japan-US-ROK Talks currently underway regarding North Korea?

    Mr. Takashima: Yesterday and today, representatives of Japan, the United States of America (US) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) are meeting in Tokyo to hold consultations among themselves, mostly on North Korean issues. They are discussing the forthcoming Six-Party Talks which are scheduled to be held by the end of this month. They are also exchanging information on other issues such as the possibility of holding working-level meetings prior to the Six-Party Talks.

    In addition, there was a bilateral meeting between Japan and the ROK at which Japan touched upon the report made by the ROK Government with regard to the uranium and plutonium experiments that were conducted by ROK scientists in the past.

    On this issue, Japan expressed its hope that the ROK Government will fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the investigation and inspection to prevent any future recurrences of these kinds of activities.

    On the Six-Party Talks, I have no further information except to say that Japan expects and strongly hopes that the Six-Party Talks will be held as scheduled by the end of September. We are waiting for further information which should be coming from the Chinese Government which is the hosting country of the Talks.

    Q: Because of this recent report on the Republic of Korea's nuclear-related experiments, do you think there is a possibility that the Six-Party Talks scheduled to be held at the end of this month will be delayed?

    Mr. Takashima: We do not think so, and we believe that should not be the case because the ROK Government is cooperating fully with the IAEA. They are disclosing all the information they have. The IAEA is thoroughly investigating the situation. We hope that the North Korean Government will follow suit and take the same actions as those taken by the ROK Government.

    Q: Is the Japan-US-ROK Talks still going on?

    Mr. Takashima: I think it might be finished by now. I do not have the information with me right now. There will be a briefing by the officials later today.

    Q: Can you talk about what was discussed in the morning session between the three countries? Were any proposals discussed for the next round of Six-Party Talks?

    Mr. Takashima: I have no information on the details of the discussion. However, I can say that they exchanged views on the current state of the Six-Party Talks, their strategies as well as their positions toward the next round of Six-Party Talks.

    Q: There are a couple of reports saying that the three countries may give a softer proposal to North Korea regarding the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO). Do you think the issue of KEDO was also talked about?

    Mr. Takashima: I would rather refrain from discussing the details of the discussion or the possible proposals because this is a matter to be discussed during the course of the negotiations at the Six-Party Talks.

    Q: What do you know about the US reaction regarding the recent report made by the Republic of Korea, especially the reaction of Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs James A. Kelly of the US?

    Mr. Takashima: I have no information on Mr. Kelly's reaction on ROK activities. However, the statements made by Spokesman Richard Boucher of the US at his briefing are available on the US Department of State's website. I think I should refer you to that.

    Q: Do you believe that the three countries are unshaken by the recent report made by the ROK because the trust between the three countries is very strong?

    Mr. Takashima: We are very much satisfied that the ROK Government is fully complying with its international obligations stemming from the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as well as the Additional Protocol. Indeed, this is one of the tangible effects from ROK's signing and acceptance of the Additional Protocol. We hope that the ROK Government, as I have said, will fully cooperate with the IAEA so that transparency will be maintained and termination of reported activities as well as dismantlement of equipments can be confirmed.

    Q: Was a similar impression heard by Japanese representatives from US representatives at the Japan-US-ROK Talks?

    Mr. Takashima: I am not in a position to discuss about the US attitude or reaction.

  5. Question concerning Prime Minister Koizumi's recent inspection of Northern Territories

    Q: What are the Japanese Government's opinions about reports saying that President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation may cancel his trip to Japan because of Prime Minister Koizumi's recent inspection of the Northern Territories?

    Mr. Takashima: We have no information that President Putin's visit to Japan scheduled for early next year has been changed or canceled. Rather, we are preparing for his visit. We expect that President Putin will be visiting Japan as scheduled early next year.

    Prime Minister Koizumi's visit to the Four Northern Islands or Northern Territories is just an activity of the Japanese prime minister to take a closer look of the Islands and personally investigate and study the area and situation. Also, he had an opportunity to exchange views with the local people while he was in that region. It has nothing to do with President Putin's scheduled visit. That is our position.

  6. Question concerning North Korean abduction issue

    Q: Has there been any developments in the abduction issue with regard to North Korea?

    Mr. Takashima: We are still waiting for North Korea's report on the fate of the ten missing people. We believe that the full investigation by the North Korean side is still going on. We hope that the North Koreans will come up with a full report as soon as possible.

    Q: Have the dates been set for a Japan-North Korea meeting as well as the Six-Party Talks in Beijing?

    Mr. Takashima: We do not have any set dates for either the Six-Party Talks or the Japan-North Korea working-level talks on the abduction issue and other bilateral issues. We hope that those meetings will be held as soon as possible.

    Related Information (Japan-North Korea Relations)

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