Press Conferences

Press Conference by Deputy Press Secretary Koichi Mizushima

Thursday, February 6, 2014, 2:00 p.m. Conference Room Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Winners of the 7th International MANGA Award

Mr. Mizushima: Good afternoon. Today, I have one item at the top, which is about an announcement of the winners of the 7th International MANGA Award. MOFA established the International MANGA Award in May, 2007 to honor manga artists who contribute to the promotion of manga overseas. This year, 256 entries from 53 countries and regions were made for the Award. The Executive Committee of this Award, chaired by Foreign Minister, has decided the winners of 15 works including a Gold Award work and three Silver Award works. On February 14, a ceremony will be held in Tokyo to grant Gold and Silver Awards. The winners are as follows: the Gold Award will be granted to Mr. Prema Jatukanyaprateep of Thailand for his work titled “Bokbig”, and the Silver Awards will be granted to three artists, Mr. George Alexopoulos of the United States for his work titled “Paris,” NAVER of China for the work titled “Carrier,” and Francis Porcel of Spain for the work titled “Les Folies Bergère.”

Questions concerning Negotiations on the Northern Territories issue

Q: Can I ask you about Prime Minister going to Sochi? What is the critical issue of the Northern Territories at meetings when Deputy Foreign Minister had a meeting with a Russian counterpart? What is the current status of the negotiation?

Mr. Mizushima: Last week there was a meeting on the Deputy Minister level between Japan and Russia. In the Meeting, they exchanged candid views on the northern territorial issue. I will not go into details as to what they talked about, but our position is to promote the negotiations with Russians in order to conclude a peace treaty as soon as possible. Prime Minister Abe is going to visit Sochi from tomorrow to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Also, he is going to meet with President Putin. That meeting will be the fifth meeting of the two leaders after Prime Minister Abe assumed his post. So we will expect, through the meeting, that the personal trust between the two leaders will be further promoted and strengthened. Also bilateral relationship, including the negotiations on the territorial issue as well as bilateral cooperation in various fields such as economy and security, will be enhanced as well.

Q: When will he meet Putin?

Mr. Mizushima: It is scheduled on the 8th of February.

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