Press Conference 12 April 2005

  1. Visit by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan to Ireland and the Kingdom of Norway
  2. Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura on the new President and Prime Minister of the Iraqi Transitional Government
  3. Commemorative ceremony and lecture for 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Russia
  4. Question concerning possible visit by Foreign Minister Machimura to the People's Republic of China
  5. Question concerning demonstrations in China
  6. Question concerning reform of the United Nations (UN)
  7. Follow-up question concerning Foreign Minister Machimura's possible visit

  1. Visit by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan to Ireland and the Kingdom of Norway

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

    First, on the visit of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan to Europe.

    Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda announced at today's Cabinet meeting the outline of the itinerary of the overseas travels of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress scheduled for May this year.

    According to the announcement, Their Majesties will leave Tokyo on 7 May and arrive in Dublin on the same day. After staying in Dublin for four days, Their Majesties will leave Dublin on 10 May and arrive in Oslo on the same day. Their Majesties will go to Trondheim from Oslo on 12 May and leave Trondheim on 13 May and return to Tokyo on 14 May.

    Among other events in Ireland, Their Majesties will have a meeting with President Mary McAleese of Ireland and Dr. Martin McAleese, and in Norway, Their Majesties will attend a welcome ceremony and gala dinner hosted by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Regent and Her Majesty the Queen of Norway.

    Related Information (Press Release)

  2. Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura on the new President and Prime Minister of the Iraqi Transitional Government

    Mr. Takashima: The next announcement is about the appointment and election of the President and Prime Minister of the Iraqi Transitional Government.

    Mr. Jalal Talabani, the Patrioc Union of Kurdistan's leader, was elected as the President of the Iraqi Transitional Government on 6 April, and Dr. Ibrahim Al Ja'fari Al Eshaiker, who had been the Vice President of the Iraqi Interim Government, was named Prime Minister on 7 April.

    Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura issued a statement in which he said as follows:

    The Government of Japan welcomes these appointments as an important step toward the democratization of Iraq, which brings the country into a new stage.

    Japan hopes that the new Transitional Government of Iraq led by Mr. Talabani and Dr. Ja'fari will take initiative to promote the political process including the legislation of a new constitution and to take measures to stabilize the security situation and promote the reconstruction of the country.

    Japan will continue its active assistance to the nation building effort of the Iraqi people in both the political process and economic reconstruction.

    In conjunction with these appointments, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi sent a message of congratulation to both Mr. Talabani and Dr. Ja'fari, in which he reiterated his strong determination to assist the effort of the Iraqi government and people to reconstruct the nation.

    Related Information (Press Release)

  3. Commemorative ceremony and lecture for 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Russia

    Mr. Takashima: The third announcement is about the commemorative ceremony for the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Russian Federation.

    The Government of Japan will host a commemorative ceremony to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Russia on 16 April in Shimoda City, Shizuoka Prefecture, followed by a memorial lecture in the same city.

    Attending the ceremony from the Government of Japan will be Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura, and others, and from the Government of Russia the Russian Ambassador to Japan, H.E. Mr. Aleksandr Losyukov, and others.

    This year marks the 150th year since the Treaty of Commerce, Navigation and Delimitation between Japan and Russia was signed in 1855, leading to the establishment of diplomatic ties. The forthcoming ceremony and lecture will be held as a main event hosted by the Government of Japan to commemorate this historic year in Shimoda, where the Treaty was signed.

    Related Information (Press Release)

  4. Question concerning possible visit by Foreign Minister Machimura to the People's Republic of China

    Q: I have a quick question about the plan for the foreign ministerial talks between Japan and the People's Republic of China. Could you tell us if the Japanese and Chinese Governments have set the date for the talks?

    Mr. Takashima: The two Governments are still discussing the possible visit of Foreign Minister Machimura to Beijing and meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Li Zhaoxing of China. No official announcement has been made, and we are waiting for the final decision.

    Related Information (Japan-China Relations)

  5. Question concerning demonstrations in China

    Q: Could you talk about the possible Chinese response to Foreign Minister Machimura's request for an apology and compensation from the Chinese Government for the damage inflicted by the violent demonstrations in Beijing and other cities in China during the last week?

    Mr. Takashima: The Japanese Government is waiting for the official reply from China to the request made by Foreign Minister Machimura to Chinese Ambassador to Japan Wang Yi when the Chinese Ambassador visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs upon request from the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

    The Japanese side requested an official apology and also compensation for the damage, and that the Chinese Government take the necessary measures to prevent the recurrence of this kind of event and also, to secure the safety of Japanese nationals and Japanese-related installations in Beijing. We are waiting.

    If the visit of Foreign Minister Machimura to Beijing is materialized, then we expect that words would be heard from the Chinese side regarding our request. At the same time, we would like to take every possible occasion to obtain a full explanation and description of the Chinese Government's decision on measures to protect Japanese nationals and Japanese installations and to prevent the recurrence of this kind of event.

  6. Question concerning reform of the United Nations (UN)

    Q: A meeting was held in New York, which was organized by the Italian Republic and other groups, to express their views on consensus seeking with regard to the issue of the reform of the Security Council. What are your comments?

    Mr. Takashima: Our understanding is that although many countries attended that meeting, many of those also attended the previous meeting organized by the Group of Four (G4), including Japan, to advocate not necessarily consensus measures but decision-making through the voting process and others. We are still making efforts to obtain general agreement among member countries of the United Nations (UN). This year is a crucial year for the reform and change of the UN. We should take full advantage of this year and try to realize the necessary reform and change through every possible available measure including voting.

    Related Information (United Nations Reform)

  7. Follow-up question concerning Foreign Minister Machimura's possible visit

    Q: You said if Foreign Minister Machimura's visit materializes. Is there a doubt about whether he will go or not?

    Mr. Takashima: The discussion is still going on between Japan and China for the possible visit of Foreign Minister Machimura to Beijing. No official announcement has been made yet. Since the proposed visit is during the coming weekend, in the not too distant future, there will be an announcement.


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