Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Friday, August 14, 2015, 8:40 p.m.   Front Central Entrance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

Prime Minister statement

Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: Following the release of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s statement on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, I spoke over the telephone with foreign ministers of Australia, France, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom. Explanations to other countries have also been given in appropriate forms. Today, I introduced to the foreign ministers on the phone the fact that the Prime Minister’s statement on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II was released. I then gave an explanation that Japan, on the basis of its path as a peace-loving country in the past 70 years, will further contribute to the peace and prosperity of the international community under the policy of “Proactive Contributor to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation. The foreign ministers of each country expressed their appreciation for the explanation. We confirmed that we will enhance bilateral relationships with each country, and also cooperate with each other on the issues facing the international community. That is all from me.

Fukai, TBS: Could you tell us what you think about the entire statement?

Minister Kishida: I think the statement reviews the path that led to the war, and the path Japan has walked since its end, draws from the lessons of history upon the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and based on that, shows the path Japan will take in the future. I gave my approval to the statement in the Cabinet meeting.

Fukai, TBS: Concerning the remorse and apology, opposition parties have criticized that the Prime Minister merely indirectly quoted the stance of past Cabinets, and therefore such phrases do not represent the Prime Minister’s true beliefs. What do you think about it?

Minister Kishida: I think the Prime Minister or the Chief Cabinet Secretary will give a detailed explanation on that issue. Therefore, I will refrain from making any comment.

Fukai, TBS: Among the foreign ministers that you talked with on the phone, how did the foreign minister of the ROK evaluate the statement?

Minister Kishida: I will refrain from stating details of diplomatic exchanges. Still, Mr. Yun Byung-se, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the ROK, expressed his gratitude for the explanation, stating that he would immediately share the explanation among the government of the ROK.

Fukai, TBS: How did you explain to China?

Minister Kishida: In terms of the countries that I made foreign ministerial meetings over the phone, we held telephone meetings only with those who matched schedule. For other countries, we gave explanations in various forms. For China, Mr. Akitaka Saiki, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs gave an explanation to the Ambassador.

Chijiwa, TV Asahi: Just for confirmation. You stated that Minister Yun would share the explanation among the government of ROK. What does that mean?

Minister Kishida: I recognize that they will confirm the content of the statement and share its ideas including their evaluation among the government.

Chijiwa, TV Asahi: Do you mean they will read and analyze it from now, and then will share their response?

Minister Kishida: Yes. As of this time, I have not recognized there was any official reaction from the ROK side.

Yamazaki, NHK: How did you deal with the United States?

Minister Kishida: Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki gave an explanation to the Ambassador as well.

Yamazaki, NHK: Do you mean he held a meeting with the Ambassador directly?

Minister Kishida: I understand that he met with the Ambassador and gave an explanation.

Yamazaki, NHK: Could you tell us, if possible, who the Vice-Minister met with today, other than Ambassadors from China and the United States?

Minister Kishida: I learned that he met with the Ambassadors from China, the ROK, and the United States.