Press Conference by Foreign Minister Taro Kono
Friday, January 26, 2018, 9:42 a.m.   Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office

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

Opening Remarks

Visit to China by Foreign Minister Kono

Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I am visiting Beijing, China, from tomorrow through early Monday to meet with Foreign Minister Wang Yi of the People's Republic of China, and other officials from the Chinese side.

I hope to exchange opinions about further improvement in the Japan-China relations, the pressing situation of North Korea, and other topics. In addition to improvement of the Japan-China relations, I look forward to discussing pursuit of a variety of global issues together as the top second and third global economic powers.

Prime Minister Abe’s Attendance at the PyeongChang Olympic Games Opening Ceremony

Reporter: I have a question about the attendance of Prime Minister Abe at the PyeongChang Olympic Games. Isn’t this attendance likely to send a message that Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not that concerned about the Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) agreement?

Minister Kono: I think Prime Minister Abe is visiting the ROK for this event if the National Diet schedule and various other circumstances allow it. The Olympics are an event for peace, and Japan will be hosting the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Japan wants to work together in various ways to promote the success of the PyeongChang Olympic Games.

Statement by US President Trump on the TPP

Reporter: President Trump of the United States suggested the possibility of a return to the TPP if the agreement offers significantly better terms, according to an interview with some media sources. Please explain your thoughts about these comments.

Minister Kono: As twelve countries, including the United States, negotiated and finalized the TPP, there is no plan to change this. We have been preparing to sign the agreement in March as part of a group of 11 countries with efforts led by Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Motegi. Japan intends to proceed the TPP11 brought into force.

Reporter: What do you mean by there being no plan to make changes?

Minister Kono: I understand that President Trump mentioned the possibility of return if the terms significantly improve. However, the extensive TPP content has already been decided, including the United States. We hope that the United States will return because the initiative involved the United States, but intend to proceed the TPP11 brought into force.