Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida

Friday, January 31, 2014, 8:40 a.m. Prime Minister’s Office

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

Opening Remarks

(1) Attendance to the Munich Security Conference

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida: If circumstances allow, I will travel to Germany this evening to attend the Munich Security Conference marking its 50th anniversary. The conference is referred to as the “Davos of defense.” At the conference which brings together a large number of cabinet members from the U.S., Russia, Europe and other countries, I will give detailed explanations on the concept of “proactive contribution to peace” and hope to earn a broader understanding and support.

At this opportunity, I am scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Japan-Russia Vice-Ministerial meeting

Yamaguchi, TV Tokyo: Today, Japan-Russia Vice-Ministerial meeting will be held in Tokyo. Will you explain your stance on earning a breakthrough in the territorial issue?

Minister Kishida: Regarding the scheduled Vice-Ministerial meeting, I believe wide-ranging discussion will be held on bilateral relations including the territorial issue and the issue of a peace treaty, and also cooperation in the international arena. On top of that, with respect to the Northern Territories issue and the issue of a peace treaty, in response to the agreement by the leaders of the two countries to consider and accelerate deliberations on a mutually acceptable solution, I hope that constructive discussions will be held. I hope to engage in the Japan-Russia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Munich based on the outcome of today’s Vice-Ministerial meeting.

Yamaguchi, TV Tokyo: I understand this year is eventful in terms of diplomatic schedule with Russia, as you will visit Munich and the Prime Minister will visit Sochi. Please tell us how you would like to lead the numerous political dialogues to concrete outcomes and what you consider is important for that as Foreign Minister.

Minister Kishida: Between Japan and Russia, through four summit meetings among others last year, I recognize that the future direction and momentum of the bilateral relationship has been confirmed. Communication through various diplomatic schedules will also be conducted this year. I will steadily reinforce the entire bilateral relationship through such communication, and by doing so, I hope to advance the Northern Territories issue and the issue of the conclusion of a peace treaty.

China’s Air Defense Identification Zone

Yamaguchi, TV Tokyo: Some media have reported that China has begun serious deliberation on the establishment of a new ADIZ in the South China Sea. Please clarify the fact, including whether there have been any explanations from the Chinese side. In addition, how do you receive China’s move as such?

Minister Kishida: I am aware of the media report. Regarding the ADIZ, we have been expressing our concerns that China’s ADIZ in the East China Sea infringes on principles of international law, such as the freedom of flight in the high seas. As for the ADIZ in the South China Sea, I will closely monitor the move going forward. I will pay close attention to further developments while collecting information.

Angoulême International Comics Festival

Yamazaki, Fuji TV: Works dealing with the comfort women issue that were created by Japan and South Korea cartoonists respectively, were submitted to an international comics festival held in France. While South Korea’s work was allowed to be on display, the Japanese work has been rejected. It is said the organizer stated to the Japanese side that the work was a political publicity. What are your views on that?

Minister Kishida: Regarding the event that you pointed out, I am aware that its objective is to deepen friendship and international understanding through comics. It is regretful that there is a move that contradicts or is not in accordance with such objective.

In the venue, Japan has placed brochures explaining its stance and the developments up until today, and have also provided explanations to the press. In addition, Japanese Ambassador to France Yoichi Suzuki held a press conference. As such, we have provided explanations on Japan’s stance and efforts up to this date. We intend to continue our sincere explanations on our position and efforts.

Japan-Russia Vice-Ministerial meeting

Ono, Kyodo Press: Regarding the Japan-Russia Vice-Ministerial meeting, I understand that the Government of Japan has held fast its stance to urge confirmation that the four Northern Islands are inherent territories of Japan. Do you intend to maintain this basic stance in future talks?

Minister Kishida:Japan’s basic stance and view stay unchanged. On that fundamental stance, I will diligently address the talks.

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