Press Conference, 17 July 2007
- Japan-Burkina Faso bilateral consultation
- Telephone conversation between Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Aso and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- Visit to Japan by Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) Dr. Ibrahim Gambari, Special Advisor on Myanmar and the International Compact with Iraq
- Visit by Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Masaharu Kohno to the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
- Questions concerning North Korea
Deputy Press Secretary Tomohiko Taniguchi: Good afternoon, thanks very much for coming. I have four brief announcements to make for my opening statement.
Firstly, last Thursday, 12 July, a Japan-Burkina Faso bilateral consultation took place here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Shuichiro Megata, Director-General for Sub-Saharan African Affairs, headed the Japanese side and Mr. Gustave Ilboudo, Secretary General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation, the Burkinan side.
Mr. Megata explained how Japan would work on the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) that is scheduled from 28 to 30 May, 2008, in Yokohama. Mr. Ilboudo appreciated Japan's efforts for African development and made a pledge that President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso would participate in TICAD IV. They have also agreed to hold the next meeting around July 2009 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
II. Telephone conversation between Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Aso and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Mr. Taniguchi: Secondly, last Friday on 13 July, Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs, had a brief conversation over the telephone with Mr. David Miliband, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the UK. Mr. Miliband gave Mr. Aso a ring to introduce himself, and Mr. Aso responded by extending his warm greetings. They reminded one another that next year will mark the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
III. Visit to Japan by Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) Dr. Ibrahim Gambari, Special Advisor on Myanmar and the International Compact with Iraq
Mr. Taniguchi: Thirdly, also last Friday on 13 July, Mr. Masayoshi Hamada, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, met with Dr. Ibrahim Gambari, the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Myanmar and the International Compact with Iraq, who visited Japan on the day. Regarding the situation in Myanmar, Mr. Hamada once again expressed Japan's intention to support the mediatory efforts of the U.N. Secretary-General. And, as for the situation in Iraq, Mr. Hamada said he had expectations of the role of the United Nations in the reconstruction of Iraq, such as the follow-up on the International Compact with Iraq.
IV. Visit by Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Masaharu Kohno to the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Mr. Taniguchi: Fourth and last, from today, Tuesday, 17 July to Friday, 20 July, Mr. Masaharu Kohno, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, will be visiting India and Pakistan.
In India, Mr. Kohno will participate in the Japan-India Strategic Dialogue on Economic Issues. And, in Pakistan, Mr. Kohno will attend the Third Japan-Pakistan High-Level Economic Policy Dialogue.
Q: What are your expectations of the upcoming Six-Party Talks, with North Korea, in particular, taking a positive position and implementing the further steps of denuclearization?
Mr. Taniguchi: North Korea is supposed to shut down and seal its main nuclear facility at Yongbyon and to invite International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials to monitor and verify compliance and discuss a list of all its nuclear programs in advance of its commitment at a later point to provide a complete declaration of all nuclear programs, and to disable all existing nuclear facilities. To shut down and seal its main nuclear facility does not suffice. North Korea has to discuss a list of all its nuclear programs with the other members of the Six-Party Talks, and that has not happened yet. The expectation is high indeed that North Korea is going to comply fully and completely with these initial actions laid out by the February agreement.
Q: How would you comment on the recent statement of the North Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs saying that the further denuclearization steps will depend on whether the US and Japan will be able to take practical measures to cancel their hostile policies? What does North Korea want in your opinion?
Mr. Taniguchi: The denuclearization process on the part of North Korea is not a bilateral issue between North Korea and the US or between North Korea and Japan. It is the obligation that North Korea made and pledged themselves in the framework of the Six-Party Talks. I am not sure if the North Korean Foreign Minister really made that remark, yet as I said, to denuclearize North Korea is going to be discussed and monitored within the framework of the Six-Party Talks.
Q: About those practical measures mentioned by North Korea; what practical measures do they mean?
Mr. Taniguchi: Please ask the Foreign Minister of North Korea.
Q: Do you think it is possible that the problem of the abducted Japanese citizens can become an obstacle to further denuclearization of the Korean peninsula?
Mr. Taniguchi: As agreed in the February agreement, the bilateral discussion between North Korea and Japan has got to proceed in tandem with other discussions, like the discussion for the normalization of diplomatic relations between the US and North Korea. Therefore, the bilateral part between North Korea and Japan has to make a substantial advancement in order for the Six-Party framework to go on and denuclearize further the North Korean nuclear programs. So, by definition, the abduction issue, which the Japanese Government regards very highly, cannot be an obstacle and must not be.
No more questions? Thank you very much.
Back to Index