Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida

Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 10:21 a.m. Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office

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

Opening Remarks

(1) Visit to the Middle East

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida: From today July 23 through July 27, I will be visiting Israel, Palestine, and Jordan.  
Regarding the Middle East peace process, last weekend U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that they have reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming direct negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian sides. The timing of my visit will thus be immediately following this announcement. Based on this agreement, I will make direct approaches for the two sides to engage in further sincere dialogues and negotiations.
The Ministerial-Level Meeting of the Four-Party Consultative Unit for the initiative of the "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity" will be held for the first time in five years. The meeting promotes Palestine’s economic development and is in concert with Secretary Kerry’s efforts to resume direct negotiations.
Further, Jordan is one of the nations that is most impacted by the humanitarian crisis in Syria. I will visit one of the largest Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, and plan to provide encouragement to the Japanese NGOs working there.

(2) Visit to Hiroshima

Minister Kishida: On July 29, I will be visiting Hiroshima City, where the Commissioning Ceremony for the first “Youth Special Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons” will be held. The first Youth Special Communicators will consist of 20 high-school student Nagasaki Peace Messengers.

Further, I will attend the Hiroshima Roundtable hosted by Hiroshima Prefecture, and will give a speech on Japan’s policies regarding our initiatives to realize a world without nuclear weapons. 

Through this Commissioning Ceremony for the “Youth Special Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons” and my speech at the Hiroshima Roundtable, I hope to disseminate Japan’s proactive approach on nuclear disarmament, from Hiroshima to the world.

The House of Councillors election results

Ohtani, NHK: The House of Councillors election has ended with the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito winning a massive victory and securing a majority in the House. What is your reaction to the election results? Also, under the circumstances, how do you intend to pursue your foreign policy objectives?
Minister Kishida: We are very grateful that through the course of the election campaign, the efforts of the current Abe Cabinet and the views of the ruling parties gained the understanding of many Japanese citizens, and that they supported us during the election. We must feel the full weight of our significant responsibility.
In response to the election results, we must fully deliver outcomes to live up to the expectations of the Japanese citizens. I believe this point onward is the critical time for both the Government and the ruling parties. With respect to diplomacy, I believe we must continue to make efforts to fully deliver results, while thoroughly upholding the existing three principles for Japanese diplomacy.

Okinawa-related Ministers' meetings

Ohtani, NHK: Okinawa-related Ministers held a meeting prior to the Cabinet Meeting today. Could you tell us what was discussed today and whether any conclusions have been reached?

Minister Kishida: The results of the House of Councillors election are now revealed. The Ministers once again exchanged information regarding the issues related to Okinawa and confirmed the schedule going forward, among other matters.

Special Advisor to the Cabinet Isao Iijima's to visit China

Yamagishi, Asahi Shimbun: Some media outlets have reported that last week Special Advisor to the Cabinet Isao Iijima visited China and met with North Korean dignitaries. Can you please explain what was discussed, if there is anything you are aware of at this time, as far as the facts are concerned?

Minister Kishida: Due to the nature of this matter, I would like to refrain from commenting.

Youth Special Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons

Fujimura, Chugoku Shimbun: Regarding the selection of high-school students as Ambassadors for the “Youth Special Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons”, what was the reason for this selection and what was the evaluation of theiractivities?
Minister Kishida: The “Youth Special Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons” has been established for the purpose of ensuring that the realities of nuclear devastation and aspirations for a world without nuclear weapons will be fully passed on to the younger generations. In this context, it has been decided that the first Commissioning Ceremony will be held.
The people who will be commissioned at the upcoming ceremony are those who have been working as high-school student Nagasaki Peace Messengers. The Commissioning Ceremony will be held to enable them to play active roles under the title of “Youth Special Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons.”

In order to continue to promote these initiatives, more people who deserve working as Youth Special Communicators will be added to the list.

Right to collective self-defense

Yamagishi, Asahi Shimbun: Based on the results of the House of Councillors election, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is about to embark on some revisions, including the possibility to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense. These policy changes are anticipated to take place this coming autumn. What do you personally think about allowing Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense? In addition, what is your view regarding how these discussions should be done?

Minister Kishida: With regard to the right of collective self-defense, the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security was launched once again in February and discussions are still going on. As the Foreign Minister, I would like to pay attention to how these discussions will proceed. If the expert group, namely the Advisory Panel, reaches a conclusion, the Cabinet, or the Government, will study the responses to take. As a member of the Abe Cabinet, I intend to address this matter in an appropriate manner.

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge of the United Kingdom giving birth

Hayabuchi, Nippon Broadcasting System: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge of the United Kingdom has given birth to a baby boy. Would you please offer her some congratulatory remarks?

Minister Kishida: I am aware that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge of the United Kingdom gave birth to a son on July 22. I would like to offer my best wishes on this happy occasion. Prime Minister Abe and I already sent our congratulatory messages. I pray that the child will grow in good health. In addition, I hope that this auspicious occasion will lead the people of Japan to feel an even greater affinity with the United Kingdom.
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