Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary ONO Hikariko
Wednesday, November 2, 2022, 3:45 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ballistic Missile Launches by North Korea
NHK, Morita: This morning, North Korea launched another ballistic missile. This time, it was launched during a U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) joint military exercise. Please tell us the Government of Japan’s current analysis of North Korea’s intentions or other such matters. There is a growing concern that North Korea may conduct another nuclear test in the future. Please share with us your view on that as well.
Ms. ONO Hikariko, Press Secretary: At around 8:50 a.m. today, North Korea launched at least two ballistic missiles from the country’s eastern coast toward the east and southeast. We are currently analyzing the details. Both missiles landed near the eastern coast of the Korean Peninsula, presumed to be outside of Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Particularly since the beginning of this year, North Korea has repeatedly launched missiles at an unprecedentedly high frequency, including new types of missiles. Recently, North Korea has launched ballistic missiles in succession and has persistently and unilaterally escalated its provocations. North Korea’s series of actions threatens the peace and stability of Japan, the region, and the international community, and is absolutely unacceptable. It is a violation of relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. Japan has lodged severe protests to North Korea, and strongly condemns the act.
Regarding your question about North Korea’s intentions. I would like to refrain from giving a definitive answer on behalf of the Government of Japan.
Regardless of its intentions, North Korea’s repeated ballistic missile launches are absolutely unacceptable. Japan’s policy is to continue to aim for the complete denuclearization of North Korea by promoting full implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions, while conducting close Japan-U.S. and Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation and cooperating with the international community.
In addition, the Government of Japan recognizes that there is a possibility that North Korea may conduct further provocative actions, including implementing a nuclear test. While cooperating closely with the United States and others, we will gather and analyze the necessary information and exert all efforts for monitoring and surveillance. We will also conduct close Japan-U.S. and Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation toward the complete denuclearization of North Korea.
Visit to the ROK by Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Vice President Aso
Asahi Shimbun, Aibara: Some reports suggest that LDP Vice President ASO is visiting the ROK today. It seems that he will meet with President Yoon Suk-yeol. Please tell us if MOFA is involved in this. Furthermore, regardless of MOFA’s involvement, please tell us your reaction to this visit and the meeting scheduled for this evening.
Press Secretary Ono: I am aware of the reports. I know that House of Representatives member ASO Taro is visiting the ROK to meet with the Korea-Japan Cooperation Committee as Chairman of the Japan-Korea Cooperation Committee and Chairman of the Nakasone Peace Institute.
I am not in the position to speak about the specific schedule on behalf of the Government of Japan.
In addition, as for MOFA, I believe that such exchanges among legislature members and private-sector of Japan and the ROK are meaningful in supporting bilateral relations.
In any case, I believe that I am not in the position to give any further comments or answer on behalf of the Government of Japan regarding this visit.
Support for Ukraine and its Neighboring Countries in the Comprehensive Economic Measures
Yomiuri Shimbun, Yokobori: At the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Division of the LDP today, it was announced that the second supplementary budget includes approximately 60 billion yen in support for Ukraine and its neighboring countries. I believe this will be a core topic at the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting that Minister HAYASHI will attend. Please tell us again the significance of support for Ukraine. In addition, please tell us, to the extent possible, what kind of support is being considered.
Press Secretary Ono: The supplementary budget is currently being coordinated within the Government of Japan, based on the comprehensive economic measures to allocate expenses for humanitarian support for Ukraine and its neighboring countries as well as to support Ukraine’s public finance, recovery, and revitalization.
Japan has announced and sequentially provided about $1.1 billion in humanitarian, public finance, and food-related support to Ukraine andrelevant countries that have been affected up to now. In addition, we have already partially implemented support for winter preparedness. We are also accepting people who evacuated from Ukraine to third-party countries into Japan, and providing support for them.
As Japan will hold the position of G7 President next year, we will continue to consider and implement support that takes into account the people of Ukraine while utilizing our expertise and experience thus far and accurately grasping local needs and leading the international community.
With regard to our future support, our policy is to consider necessary support for enduring the winter, humanitarian assistance, and rebuilding people’s lives as part of the comprehensive economic measures.
Visit to the ROK by LDP Vice President Aso
Mainichi Shimbun, Aoki: Regarding the visit to the ROK by Mr. ASO mentioned in the earlier question, you stated that you will not make further comments, but in his press conference this morning, Chief Cabinet Secretary MATSUNO stated that it was not true that Mr. ASO is visiting as the Prime Minister’s envoy or bringing a personal letter. For this visit, has Mr. ASO been entrusted by the Prime Minister to convey condolences from Japan for the incident in Itaewon or matters such as that?
Press Secretary Ono: As I stated earlier, House of Representatives member ASO Taro is visiting the ROK for a meeting with the Korea-Japan Cooperation Committee as Chairman of the Japan-Korea Cooperation Committee and Chairman of the Nakasone Peace Institute. I am not in the position to answer any further questions on behalf of the Government of Japan.