Press Conference by the Deputy Press Secretary, 14 June 2012

  1. Japan's Hosting PSI (Proliferation Security Initiative) Air Interdiction Exercise "Pacific Shield 12"
  2. Japan-Belgium Foreign Ministers' Meeting
  3. Courtesy Call on Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda by Chair of State Duma of Russia
  4. 10th Japan-Russia Strategic Dialogue

1. Japan's Hosting PSI (Proliferation Security Initiative) Air Interdiction Exercise "Pacific Shield 12"

Deputy Press Secretary Ms. Naoko Saiki: Good afternoon. Let me begin with a few announcements.

Ms. Saiki: First, on Japan's hosting the Proliferation Security Initiative Air Interdiction Exercise "Pacific Shield 12". From Tuesday, July 3 to Thursday, July 5, the Government of Japan will host Japan's first Air Interdiction Exercise "Pacific Shield 12" under the framework of the PSI. From Japan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Cabinet Secretariat; the National Police Agency; the Ministry of Finance; the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; the Ministry of Defense; and other related ministries and agencies will participate in the Exercise.

Australia, the Republic of Korea, and Singapore will participate in inspection exercises. Countries, including those in the Asia-Pacific region, are also being invited to participate as observers.

The Proliferation Security Initiative is an international effort to consider and implement possible measures in consistent with national legal authorities and relevant international laws and frameworks in order to interdict the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missiles, along with related materials, which is a threat to the peace and the stability of the international community.

Japan has been participating actively in the initiative since its inception.

2. Japan-Belgium Foreign Ministers' Meeting

Ms. Saiki: Second, on a Japan-Belgium Foreign Ministers' Meeting. On June 12th, Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba held a foreign ministers' meeting with Federal Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs Didier Reynders of the Kingdom of Belgium, who was visiting Japan. At the outset, Foreign Minister Gemba stated that on the occasion of the visit to Japan by Minister Reynders and by Their Royal Highnesses Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of the Kingdom of Belgium, and the economic mission, he would like to further strengthen bilateral relations. And he also stated that, as many Japanese enterprises had advanced into Belgium and set up their headquarters for operation in Europe, Belgium has become an important economic base for Japan in Europe, and requested further efforts on the part of Belgium for the improvement of the investment environment.

In response, Minister Reynders stated that, although the current mission mainly comprises people of the business circle, there are also people in the fields of education and research, and that he expected that Japan-Belgium relations would be further enhanced on the occasion of the current visit.

They also discussed the Japan-EU economic partnership agreement, the European debt crisis, the upcoming Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan in July, and the situation in Syria.

3. Courtesy Call on Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda by Chair of State Duma of Russia

Ms. Saiki: Third, on the visit to Japan by the Chair of State Duma of Russia. On June 11, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda received a courtesy call by Mr. Sergey Evgenievich Naryshkin, Chair of State Duma of Russia, who was visiting Japan upon the invitation of Speaker of the House of Representatives of Japan Takahiro Yokomichi. Mr. Naryshkin conveyed greetings from President Putin of the Russian Federation and expressed his expectation that the Japan-Russia Summit Meeting to be held on the occasion of the Group of 20 Summit will give impetus to the development of cooperation in every field of Japan-Russia relations. Prime Minister Noda appreciated the roles played by Chair Naryshkin in inter-parliamentary and cultural exchanges between Japan and Russia, and stated that he looked forward to meeting President Putin at the Group of 20 Summit, if circumstances permit.

4. 10th Japan-Russia Strategic Dialogue

Ms. Saiki: Fourth, on the 10th Japan-Russia Strategic Dialogue. Tomorrow, on Friday June 15, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Kenichiro Sasae will hold the Japan-Russia Strategic Dialogue with Mr. Andrei Ivanovich Denisov, First Deputy-Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. At the meeting, they are scheduled to widely discuss international subjects of strategic interests to Japan and Russia, as well as bilateral relations.

With these initial announcements, I would be happy to take questions from you. Are there any questions?

I see none, so this concludes today's conference. Thank you.


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