Press Conferences

Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida

Saturday, July 2, 2016, 11:33 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

Opening Remarks

Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: While the safety of the seven Japanese nationals had not been confirmed, personnel at the Embassy of Japan in Bangladesh, including Mr. Masato Watanabe, Ambassador to Bangladesh, visited the hospital where the Bangladesh Government transported the bodies of the deceased and confirmed that the seven Japanese nationals were among the deceased. It was confirmed from belongings and other information that the seven people, including five men and two women, were consultants related to JICA projects. I would like to refrain from giving more details, such as names, at this point out, of consideration for their families. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs dispatched Mr. Seiji Kihara, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the site and also dispatched an overseas Emergency Response Team (ERT), including consular and press relations experts and medical officers, to establish a structure on site with over 30 people. Japan has been putting its fullest efforts into dealing with the situation and it is most regrettable that this was the outcome. The Government intends to provide its fullest support for the families while paying close attention to their feelings. As part of this effort, we are preparing to dispatch a government plane as soon as tomorrow, given the wishes of family members. I feel strong indignation over this brutal and immoral act of terrorism that has taken the lives of innocent people. Terrorism cannot be justified for any reason, and the Government strongly condemns this act. Japan hopes that the United Nations Security Council addresses this incident and issues a firm message.


Reporter: As to the schedule going forward, I would imagine that you plan to transport the bodies of these people back to Japan using the government plane. How do you plan to deal with the injured? Are you making adjustments for them to come back together? 

Minister Kishida: Regarding the injured, the fullest possible assistance is currently being given locally. The Government must strive to realize a return to Japan as quickly as possible while taking into account the extent of the injuries and the state of the treatment, as well as sufficiently confirming the wishes of the individual. In any case, the Government intends to confirm the state of treatment and wishes of the person and make utmost efforts to accommodate the feelings of the person and family members. 

Reporter: Japan became the chair country of the United Nations Security Council from yesterday. You mentioned addressing this situation at the United Nations Security Council. Are you thinking about calling an emerging meeting? What type of response are you considering since this is not an international conflict? 

Minister Kishida: I think the international community needs to issue a strong message condemning such an act of terrorism. Specifically, Japan aims to carefully coordinate views at the United Nations Security Council or with related countries in New York. We intend to decide the specific format after exchanging views and holding consultations. At any rate, we will act swiftly to begin initiatives in New York. 

Reporter: Might this include a Chairman's statement?

Minister Kishida: We intend to determine the specific format after consultations with related parties. Japan believes it is important to issue a message as the international community that such an act of terrorism is not acceptable, that terrorism should be condemned, and that the international community must work together to combat terrorism. 

Reporter: There was one injured person. Have you heard anything directly from this person about how the incident occurred? 

Minister Kishida: Embassy personnel met with the person at the hospital. I understand that treatment is still being administered. The Government intends to listen carefully to what the person has to say and confirm the person's intent as much as we can without interfering with the treatment. 

Reporter: Do you intend to disclose the names and ages of the people who were killed after obtaining the consent of family members? 

Minister Kishida: The Government cannot disclose names and other specific information without having confirmed the views of family members. We intend to respond appropriately after confirming these points. 

Reporter: I have a question about your review of possible use of the government plane. Is this because the people who were victims were involved with ODA? 

Minister Kishida: The Government has decided to send the government plane in light of various points, including conditions related to the incident, the injured and victimized people, and our responsibility to accommodate the families as much as possible. It was the outcome of a comprehensive assessment of various conditions. 

Reporter: What actions will State Minister Kihara take tomorrow after arriving in Dhaka? 

Minister Kishida: He is currently in transit. During this time, the Ambassador and embassy personnel are visiting the hospital to which the bodies of the deceased have been transported and are confirming the points that I just mentioned. Given these situations, appropriate decisions will be made about what Mr. Kihara will do after arriving. Since he is still in transit, the Ministry's emergency response headquarters is looking at what should be the schedule after his arrival while closely coordinating with the local response headquarters. I think the teams are conducting these reviews and waiting for his arrival. The contacts and coordination are currently taking place.
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