Press Conference by Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu
Friday, December 18, 2020, 11:11 a.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Cabinet Decision on Documents Related to Missile Defense
Sankei Shimbun, Ishinabe: I would like to ask about the Cabinet decision today on the new missile defense system and related matters. The decision specifically mentioned the Aegis Ashore alternative and standoff missile development. However, in regard to the policy on countering missiles described in Prime Minister Abe’s statement before his resignation, the decision only mentions that the Government of Japan will continue to conduct consideration on strengthening deterrence. Can you please tell us why the policy on countering missiles was not indicated this time? Also, please give us an idea of the schedule going forward of the Government conducting consideration on countering missiles and strengthening deterrence.
Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs: Consideration will continue to be conducted. Please inquire with the National Security Council (NSC) or the Ministry of Defense for details.
Japan-U.S. Foreign Ministers’ Telephone Talk
Sankei Shimbun, Ishinabe: I would like to ask about the telephone talk you conducted yesterday with Secretary of State Pompeo. During the telephone talk, you confirmed that you would work closely together to handle novel coronavirus countermeasures as well as regional and international situations. This is a period of administration transition now, so did your discussion extend to matters such as the presidential election or the transition to the Biden administration?
Minister MOTEGI: Such matters did not come up in particular. I closely communicate with Secretary of State Pompeo on a regular basis. Since Secretary of State Pompeo visited Japan for the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) on October 6, he has requested to hold telephone talks for the first time in a month. I believe we had a good discussion in which we agreed to firmly cooperate on novel coronavirus countermeasures, regional situations including the East China Sea and South China Sea, and issues facing the international community.