Press Conferences

Press Conference by Deputy Press Secretary Koichi Mizushima

Thursday, August 1, 2013, 2:00 p.m. Briefing Room No. 381 Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Minister Kishida's Visit to the Middle East

Deputy Press Secretary Mr. Koichi Mizushima: Foreign Minister Kishida visited Israel, Palestine and Jordan from July 23 to 27. In addition to a series of meetings with key leaders, Foreign Minister Kishida attended the Ministerial-level Meeting of the Four-Party Consultative Unit for the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity initiative for the first time in five years. Foreign Minister Kishida also visited a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. His visit shows the Japanese Government's proactive stance toward stability in the Middle East region.
In particular, in the light of positive developments regarding Middle East Peace process under the strong efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Foreign Minister Kishida directly called on the Israeli and Palestinian sides to male sincere efforts toward the resumption of peace negotiations, and received positive response from both sides.
The Government of Japan will continue to provide support on both political and economic aspects to help achieve peace and prosperity in the region. We expect that these efforts of the Japanese Government also help boost the efforts by Secretary Kerry, which is significant from the perspective of Japan-U.S. relations.

Prime Minister's Visit to Southeast Asia

Mr. Mizushima: Prime Minister Abe paid an official visit to three Southeast Asian countries, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines from July 25 to 27.

That trip was the third visit to Southeast Asia by Prime Minister Abe since his return to office. He visited 7 of the 10 member countries of ASEAN, which shows our stance that Japan believes that ASEAN is an important partner for Japan to achieve stability and prosperity of Asia-Pacific region and attaches the importance to relationship between Japan and ASEAN on both aspects of economic development and security.

As outcome of this visit, common understanding was produced on the following points:
  • Incorporating the vitality of Asia into the revitalization of the Japanese economy
  • Strengthening cooperation between the countries that share fundamental values such as the rule of law and human rights
  • Further promoting exchanges on the occasion of the 40th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation
  • Promoting economic partnerships and working together to draw up rules on trade and investment
  • Making Asia-Pacific a free and open region that is governed by the rule of law instead of force

Iftar hosted by Prime Minister Abe

Mr. Mizushima: Prime Minister Abe invited Ambassadors of Islamic nations and others to an IFTAR at the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday evening.
34 representatives from the Islamic diplomatic corps as well as Foreign Minister Kishida attended the Iftar, and local cuisines were provided by participating diplomatic corps.
This Iftar was held in order to promote mutual understanding between Japan and the Islamic world.

Selection of the Youth Special Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons

Mr. Mizushima: Foreign Minister Kishida commissioned 15 high-school students as “Youth Special Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons” on July 29 in Hiroshima. They are expected to introduce the realities of nuclear devastation to the world, with aspiration to realize a world without nuclear weapons. The Government has given the commission of “Special Communicator for a World without Nuclear Weapons” to 110 citizens who experienced nuclear disaster to date. These young special communicators are expected to share the stories that are passed on them with young people all over the world. I understand that they plan to visit Geneva this month and will be engaged in various activities.
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