Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida

Friday, May 12, 2017, 8:44 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office

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

Japan-ROK Summit Telephone Talk

Reporter: A Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) summit telephone talk took place yesterday. I understand the leaders shared the view on meeting face to face and holding a summit meeting as quickly as possible. I believe Japan is also seeking to hold a Japan-China-ROK summit meeting. How do you hope to realize the Japan-ROK Summit meeting? Also, when or around what timing are you aiming for? Can you please share your thoughts on these aspects?

Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: As you mentioned, the leaders shared the view to hold a Japan-ROK Summit meeting as quickly as possible. However, the details still need to be coordinated and have not been decided. We hope to hold the meeting as quickly as possible since this is what the two leaders agreed on.

We had made continuous efforts to hold the Japan-China-ROK Summit meeting last year, but regrettably we have still not been able to hold the meeting. We will continue our efforts toward holding the meeting in Japan. As the new administration is going to be launched in the ROK, we hope to make arrangements to hold this meeting as quickly as possible. However, nothing has been decided yet. That is the situation for this meeting as well.

Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation

Reporter: The "Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation" begins in Beijing from the day after tomorrow. Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will be attending. Please explain the responses of the Government and the Government's view of the Belt and Road Forum or the concept of the "One Belt, One Road" itself.

Minister Kishida: My understanding is that State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yoshifumi Matsumura will be attending the Forum from the government side with Secretary-General Nikai. Regarding the Government's view and policy, we hope meaningful discussions will take place among the participants on the important aspects of the "One Belt, One Road" concept in contributing to sustainable regional development.

Reporter: Do you consider that the Belt and Road Forum is desirable for the Japanese Government?

Minister Kishida: The Government has always followed with interest the concept of "One Belt, One Road" as to whether it contributes to sustainable regional development. We expect that discussions will take place such that the concept will contribute to sustainable regional development.

Constitutional Amendment

Reporter: Yesterday, at a regular meeting of the Kochikai, you expressed the view that now is not the time to revise Article 9 of the Constitution. I think it is unusual for you to present a different view from the Prime Minister on an important matter of national policy. What was the reason for presenting your view at this meeting without coordinating with the Prime Minister?  

Minister Kishida: I made this comment as chairman of the Kochikai. I was speaking as the chairman at a regular meeting of the Koichikai rather than as a Cabinet member. I explained that my position has not changed from comments I made at a workshop in 2015 and also noted that I would like to review and consider whether my view is the same or different from the Prime Minister's view.

In any case, as I have indicated, it is significant and meaningful that a variety of views are expressed, considering that it will facilitate more lively discussion. These were the comments that I made. I make comments in a variety of capacities and at various places as a politician, and this was one of them.

Japan-ROK Summit Telephone Talk

Reporter: I understand that in the telephone talk while there was no mention of renegotiating the Japan-ROK agreement, President Moon Jae-in stated that many people in the ROK cannot accept the agreement. Can you please share your comment on this?

Minister Kishida: Regarding the Japan-ROK agreement, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe commented that he hopes to appropriately manage the bilateral relationship including the Japan-ROK agreement. No further details have been provided because it is a diplomatic exchange. In any case, this was the first telephone talk, and we perceive that it was a forward-looking and meaningful telephone talk.
Back to Press Conferences