Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 9:14 a.m.   Entrance Hall, Prime Minister' s Office

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

Opening Remarks

Signing of the Japan-U.S. Space Situational Awareness Cooperation Agreement

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida: At the Cabinet Meeting, a decision has been made on the signing of the Japan-U.S. Space Situational Awareness Cooperation Agreement. I am scheduled to exchange letters today with H.E. Mr. John V. Roos, Ambassador of the U.S. to Japan.
This Agreement will enable a further broad and swift information-sharing by the U.S. with Japan on matters such as space debris and is expected to contribute to the safe operation of Japan' s satellites.
The early signing of this Agreement was agreed upon at the Japan-U.S. Foreign Ministers' Meeting in April of this year. I believe it is deeply significant as a concrete advancement of Japan-U.S. space cooperation in the field of security. We will continue promoting Japan-U.S. cooperation in this field.

The Issue of the recognitions of history

Inomoto, TBS: Yesterday Mr. Toru Hashimoto held a press conference and caused a stir. I think that you will continue to explain to other countries that Mr. Hashimoto’s remarks are not of the government’s but of the head of an opposition party. But people in some countries such as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea have lumped all the Japanese politicians together and criticized them. How does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs plan to deal with it?
Minister Kishida: First of all, I am aware of the reports about Japan Restoration Party Leader Hashimoto’s remarks. The Government refrains from making a comment about statements of a co-leader of an opposition party. In any case, the position and the way of thinking of the Abe administration or the government are just as I have explained to you. We must again thoroughly explain our way of thinking and the position of Japan and the Japanese Government. We will continue our efforts of making such an explanation.  
Inomoto, TBS: How do you take the unusual statement made by the ROK Minister at a press conference?
Minister Kishida: The position of Japan is just as I have always explained to you. If those explanations are not received well, we must continue our efforts to seek their understandings further.

Situation in North Korea

Inomoto, TBS: Last week, a special envoy from North Korea visited China. It is reported that North Korea was positive about the restart of the Six-Party Talks. Has there been an explanation from the Chinese side to MOFA about whether or not these reports are true? I would also like to know what sorts of initiatives MOFA intends to undertake in the future.
Minister Kishida: I would like to check the explanation issue later. In any event, regarding dialogue, Japan’s position is that, based on the policy of dialogue and pressure, we pursue a comprehensive resolution of the issues of concern including the abductions, nuclear and missile issues. Our window for dialogue is not closed at all. In any case, the first thing for the North Korean side is to show a sincere attitude and make specific steps toward a comprehensive resolution of those issues of concern including denuclearization. The Japanese Government will continue to place emphasis on Japan-U.S.-ROK collaboration as well as collaboration with other relevant countries such as Russia and China. At the same time, we continue to send a strong message calling for North Korea to desist from making further provocative actions and make a thorough commitment to UN Security Council resolutions. 
Watanabe, Kyodo News: Some media outlets are reporting that a core member of the Korean People’s Army who defected from North Korea has confessed at the Government’s Headquarters for the Abduction Issue that he abducted a Japanese crew of a fishing boat in the Sea of Japan in the 1980s. I would like to ask what you understand to be the truth of this matter and what your opinion on it is. 
Minister Kishida: I am of course aware of such reports. But I am not in a position to make a comment since this issue relates to an investigation. Japan’s basic position on the North Korea issues remain unchanged.

Incident of a missing Japanese mountain climber in Nepal

Kikuchi, Nippon Television: There are some reports that say a Japanese mountain climber is missing in Nepal. Have you heard of anything new about this?
Minister Kishida: I am aware of that. At the current moment, we are calling on the local authorities to collect information and do necessary work through the Japanese Embassy in Nepal. That is the stage we are at right now.

Japan-India Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy

Fujimura, Chugoku Shimbun: Concerning the restart of the negotiations with India on an Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, some in Hiroshima City, a place that suffered an atomic bombing, are saying that this will only lead to the hollowing out of the nonproliferation regime. I think that a request has been sent to you asking that the restart of negotiations be abandoned. What is your opinion on this?
Minister Kishida: I acknowledge that there are many opinions. Right now, coordination is being done for that agreement. We will continue that coordination.

Incident of a missing Japanese mountain climber in Nepal

Ohtani, NHK: Regarding the issue in Nepal, there is information that one person has passed away. Has that been confirmed?
Minister Kishida: At the moment, I have heard that efforts to gather information continue through the Japanese Embassy in Nepal.