Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister Taro Kono

Friday, November 10, 2017, 10:40 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office

This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.

Agreement in Principle at the TPP Ministerial Meeting

Reporter: The Ministerial Meeting for TPP11, which had been struggling with the negotiations to narrow down the frozen items, has reached an agreement in principle. Can you please share your comments once again?

Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs: It is important to work toward the early entry into force of TPP11. I explained at the APEC Ministerial Meeting that Japan wants to make efforts as a flag-bearer for free trade amid some rise in protectionism in various areas.
The role played by TPP11 in this context is very large. Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Toshimitsu Motegi has worked hard on this agreement. The leaders will confirm the agreement in principle, and Japan will seek to make significant progress.

US-ROK Leaders’ Dinner Banquet

Reporter: I think you said the other day that you would send a message of protest to Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha of the Republic of Korea (ROK) regarding the invitation of a former comfort woman to the dinner banquet hosted by the ROK Government. Since then have you received any response to the message from Minister Kang?

Minister Kono: I heard that we have received a message. I would like to refrain from discussing the content because this is a diplomatic matter.

Reporter: I have a question about the ROK’s banquet. The spokesperson from the ROK’s Foreign Ministry stated that it is not appropriate for other countries to make comments. What are your thoughts about this stance of the ROK and the ROK’s overall stance including historical issues?

Minister Kono: Rather than me commenting about the ROK’s response, I believe it is important for Japan and the ROK to deepen our collaboration in a forward-looking manner amid the North Korean crisis. I hope to have thorough discussions on this as soon as possible with Minister Kang.

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