Press Conference by Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu
Tuesday, June 1, 2021, 2:01 a.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Developments in Myanmar (Japan Myanmar Association)
Toyo Keizai Inc., Okada: I would like to ask about Myanmar. There are reports that Chairman WATANABE Hideo of the Japan Myanmar Association is currently visiting Myanmar. Regarding this matter, please tell us if MOFA or the Government of Japan have entrusted or requested Chairman Watanabe to do anything, or if he will convey a message as it seems that he will meet with the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services of Myanmar.
Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs: He has not been entrusted with anything.
Toyo Keizai Inc., Okada: He has not been entrusted with anything?
Minister Motegi: No.
Toyo Keizai Inc., Okada: Recently, Chairman Watanabe…
Minister Motegi: Excuse me, the rules are that you should go back once and may ask another question when called upon.
Toyo Keizai Inc., Okada: I apologize. Chairman Watanabe is proud that he has his own connection regarding Japan-Myanmar relations. Does MOFA have any expectations or wishes concerning the Japan Myanmar Association?
Minister Motegi: I believe that Chairman Watanabe is visiting Myanmar at his own volition. Regarding your requestion earlier, I am not in the position to respond on behalf of the Government concerning specific aspects of his visit including the schedule and who he will meet with, as well as details such as the objective.
Toyo Keizai Inc., Okada: Thank you.
Developments in Syria (Presidential Election)
Pan Orient News, Azhari: What is Japan's position on the presidential elections that were held in Syria? President Assad won a new term, and won 95% of the vote. Japan still has diplomatic relations with Syria, so what is your position on the election results?
Minister Motegi: Japan’s position is that in order to realize a political solution to the Syria crisis, the presidential election should be participated in by all Syrians and conducted in a manner that obtains the understanding of the international community. We have been repeatedly urging the Government of Syria to take a constructive response.
Amidst this, Japan believes it is regrettable that the election was implemented without any constructive response by the Government of Syria, without realization of a ceasefire throughout Syria, and without progress in the political process. We recognize that the implementation of this election was inconsistent with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 which expresses support for free and fair elections, pursuant to the new constitution.
Japan will continue to persistently urge the Government of Syria to take a constructive response for progress in the political process toward a political solution to the Syria crisis, and also continue diplomatic efforts in close cooperation with the international community.
Novel Coronavirus (Vaccinations for Diplomats Residing in Japan)
Pan Orient News, Azhari: What is Japan's position on vaccination for members of embassies, diplomats and local staff who have official visa? I heard that they might not be able to take vaccination in Japan.
Minister Motegi: Like the general population and foreign residents of Japan, diplomats residing in Japan and other such individuals are eligible for vaccinations in accordance with prioritization based on age and other factors.
Under this policy, there has already been a compilation of people working at many embassies in Tokyo and other locations who want to be vaccinated, and applications for issuance of vaccination tickets are being made to the municipalities where they live. It is my understanding that vaccinations have already begun for some diplomats who meet the requirements.
The entire Government is currently implementing efforts to accelerate vaccinations. MOFA will cooperate so that vaccinations of diplomats, like those for the general population and foreign residents in Japan, proceed in a swift and smooth manner.