Press Conference by the Deputy Press Secretary, 2 June 2011

  1. Prime Miniset Kan's speech at the OECD
  2. Chair's Summary of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting
  3. G8 Summit
  4. Japan-EU Summit
  5. Facebook and Twitter
  6. Preliminary summary of the IAEA International Fact Finding Expert Mission
  7. Economic Partnership Agreement signed between Japan and Peru
  8. Millennium Development Goals Follow-Up Meeting
  9. Questions concerning the MDG Follow-Up Meeting

  1. Prime Miniset Kan's speech at the OECD
  2. Deputy Press Secretary Hidenobu Sobashima: Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. I have several topics to share with you before inviting your questions.

    Mr. Sobashima: We have distributed papers related to the OECD commemoration ceremony. Last week I already explained the gist of the Prime Minister's speech. At that time we distributed a text to be checked against delivery. Now we have distributed the text as delivered. I won't repeat the report of what he stated except that I would like to explain that in the context of his statement on the challenge of renewable energy, the Prime Minister explained, in some detail, his aims with the figures. This I would just like to add.

  3. Chair's Summary of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting
  4. Mr. Sobashima: Another thing is this. We have also distributed the text of the Chair's Summary of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting. On the third page, under the heading "Trade and Jobs", in the last sentence it says that "Ministers shared the view of the need to refrain from taking WTO-inconsistent measures in the aftermath of recent natural disasters".

    The Government of Japan repeatedly explained that measures should be taken calmly based on scientific data, thus appealing to foreign countries to refrain from excessive measures or measures not made based on scientific data. Our view is reflected in this manner in the Chair's Summary of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting.

  5. G8 Summit
  6. Mr. Sobashima: Next, on the G8 Summit, which was held on 26 and 27 May in Deauville, France, we have distributed the G8 declaration entitled "Renewed Commitment for Freedom and Democracy". In this paper there are such sections as "Solidarity with Japan" and "Nuclear Safety". In "Peace and Security" section, on paragraph 73, there is a reference to North Korea.

    We have also distributed a provisional translation of the remarks by Prime Minister Kan at the press conference in Deauville. This is on 27 May. In Deauville he explained to G8 Leaders, what Japan has been doing in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the countermeasures to control the accident of the nuclear plant, and also his new energy policy. He explained that he had expressed in G8 his intention to convene an international meeting, in cooperation with the IAEA, to be held in the latter half of next year, based on the findings of the investigation and verification of the nuclear accident, and called on the G8 member countries to participate in that meeting.

    On the next page of the distributed text he said that at the G8 Summit, with respect to the DPRK, he led the discussion and called on other G8 members to firmly tackle the issue of the DPRK's uranium enrichment program, which is a clear violation of UN Security Council Resolutions. "We were able to send out a very strong message vis-à-vis the DPRK demanding them to engage in concrete actions toward resumption of the dialog, abandon its nuclear programs and resolve the abduction issue".

    He mentioned that he had a number of bilateral meetings on the occasion of the G8 Summit. In fact, he met the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States. In the press conference, he particularly mentioned the outline of his bilateral meeting with President Obama of the United States. He said that he discussed the issue of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). He explained that President Obama invited him to visit the United States in the first half of September. The two leaders agreed that the two countries should prepare to hold, in the latter half of June, the so-called Two-Plus-Two meeting of the foreign and defense ministers of Japan and the United States. He said that he intends to welcome Vice President Biden to Japan in the coming summer.

    As for his meeting with President Medvedev, he said that the two leaders saw eye-to-eye that the two countries should further deepen their mutually beneficial relationship of cooperation in all areas, including energy. With regard to the territorial issue, the two leaders concurred on continuing territorial negotiations in a quiet and calm atmosphere.

    He concluded that through summit diplomacy this time, he has expressed his determination to achieve open reconstruction, as soon as possible, in cooperation with the international community and also expressed his determination to continue to make Japan's international contributions as a way to reciprocate the goodwill that Japan has received from the international community. Japan intends to do this as one of the leading countries in the world, and the leaders of the G8 responded by expressing their very warm support.

  7. Japan-EU Summit
  8. Mr. Sobashima: Next I will explain the main outcome of the 20th Japan-EU Summit held in Brussels on 28 May. We have distributed the text of the joint press statement. What I would like to explain is that, in the paragraph entitled "Next Steps for Stronger EU-Japan Relations" it says that summit leaders agreed to start the process for parallel negotiations for two things:

    The first is "a deep and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) / Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), addressing all issues of shared interest to both sides including tariffs, non-tariff measures, services, investment, Intellectual Property Rights, competition and public procurement". This is the first item.

    The second item is "a binding agreement, covering political, global and other sectoral cooperation in a comprehensive manner, and underpinned by their shared commitment to fundamental values and principles".

    "Summit leaders decided, to this end, that the two sides would start discussions with a view to defining the scope and level of ambition of both negotiations. Such scoping would be carried out as soon as possible.

    In parallel with this, the European Commission will seek the necessary authorization for the negotiation of these agreements on the basis of a successful scoping".

    So this is the main outcome of the Japan-EU Summit that I would like to explain. We also attached a document entitled "Japan-EU Cooperation Following the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant".

  9. Facebook and Twitter
  10. Mr. Sobashima: Next I would like to announce that as of yesterday we have started utilization of Facebook and Twitter. The Government of Japan opened its official accounts on Facebook and Twitter yesterday, 1 June. We hope that we will be able to have better communication with people in Japan and also abroad, through these accounts.

  11. Preliminary summary of the IAEA International Fact Finding Expert Mission
  12. Mr. Sobashima: Then I would like to touch upon the preliminary summary of the report of the IAEA International Fact Finding Expert Mission. The preliminary summary was explained to the Japanese side by the visiting IAEA mission and the text was made public through their website.

    Yesterday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano commented on this. This is my private translation of what he said in his press conference yesterday on the preliminary summary of the IAEA mission.

    "As for the verification of this accident, perhaps this should be done from various aspects. The Government of Japan itself has already established a Nuclear Incident Investigation and Verification Committee to have an independent verification of the incident. As the IAEA is an organization authorized internationally, the IAEA team has independence from the Government of Japan. Therefore the Government of Japan should take the conclusions of the team very seriously. We understand that the mission has positive appreciation for the countermeasures made the Government, and also the measures taken on the spot at the nuclear power plant. On the other hand, there are very severe comments in relation to the preparations that should have been made, and also the way to regulate the nuclear industry or nuclear power plants. Perhaps the mission will have further follow-up work. There may be some more specific proposals coming. The Government should consider these points seriously".

    This is roughly what he said in respect of the preliminary summary by the IAEA team.

  13. Economic Partnership Agreement signed between Japan and Peru
  14. Mr. Sobashima: I should have mentioned earlier the Economic Partnership Agreement signed between Japan and Peru. This was done on 31 May and we have distributed the press release of the conversation between Minister Matsumoto and the visiting Peruvian minister. We hope the EPA between the two countries will further enhance the bilateral relationship between the two countries, particularly in economic fields.

  15. Millennium Development Goals Follow-Up Meeting
  16. Mr. Sobashima: And then we have distributed a paper entitled the "Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Follow-Up Meeting". The MDGs Follow-Up Meeting is ongoing in Mita House, today and tomorrow. The Minister for Foreign Affairs is hosting this meeting with UNDP, UNICEF, the World Bank and JICA as co-organizers of this meeting. We have distributed a list of participants and also the program of the meeting for today and tomorrow.

    On the third page on the left-hand side we explain what happened in September last year. We had the UN High-Level Plenary Meeting on MDGs in September last year. Participants discussed the development agenda at the summit level. By so doing we believe this meeting raised the awareness of the international community and raised political momentum. The meeting issued the UN outcome document with the action plan. This provided the way forward to future efforts.

    On that occasion Prime Minister Kan announced what is called the "Kan Commitment" of his initiative of 5 billion US dollars to the health sector and 3.5 billion US dollars to the education sector, for five years from this year. He also announced that Japan would host an international conference to follow up on this High-Level Plenary Meeting on MDGs. Ongoing in Tokyo now is exactly the implementation of his announcement. We hope that the participants will discuss truly effective measures that should be pursued over the final five years, toward the target year of the MDG, 2015.

    On the next page we have our concepts, a list of the concepts for the meeting. Human security and equity are the important key words. To promote progress toward 2015, we should bridge the outcome of the MDG Summit with concrete and effective actions through a global dialog among a broad range of stakeholders.

    Thank you very much for listening and for your patience. Now I invite your questions.

  17. Questions concerning the MDG Follow-Up Meeting
  18. Q: Why did you decide to host the MDGs Follow-Up Meeting at this time? Also, what kind of outcome do you expect from this meeting?

    Mr. Sobashima: Thank you. I think that having the meeting at this time as a follow-up of the UN meeting last September should be timely. We have many high-level representatives from various countries. We have distributed the list. We have the heads of UNDP, UNICEF and other organizations. We hope that this meeting will give momentum to the further promotion of progress toward 2015.

    If you have no further questions, thank you very much for coming.

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