Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Friday, October 3, 2014, 8:28 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office
(1) Emergency grant aid in response to the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West African countries
Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida: At today’s Cabinet meeting I announced the implementation of 22 million US dollars of emergency grant aid through the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations in response to the Ebola virus disease. This is a part of the 40 million US dollars of aid announced by Prime Minister Abe at the United Nations on September 25.
The Ebola virus disease is a threat to global peace and security. The Government of Japan will continue to explore additional support in order to halt the spread of the Ebola virus disease, including cooperating with the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) that was launched recently.
Japan-North Korea talks
Kurihara, NHK: My question concerns the Japan-North Korea talks. I believe a decision will be made by the Government as a whole on whether or not the Japanese side will go to Pyongyang. When is the Government aiming to make the decision? Also, when will the Government aim to dispatch officials? I would like to ask about how such considerations are going.
Minister Kishida: Where the Government’s response is concerned, the Government overall will consider its response carefully, based also on the views of the parties concerned, including the victims of abduction. At present nothing has been decided regarding what will take place, or when.
Hong Kong Chief Executive electoral system (pro-democracy protests)
Kurihara, NHK: In Hong Kong the protests over how the Chief Executive is elected are continuing. How do you view the situation?
Minister Kishida: To begin with, I am continuing to observe the situation in Hong Kong closely. Hong Kong has a close economic relationship with Japan, and Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability have a major impact on Japan as well. Additionally, Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability affect the prosperity and stability of not only China but of the international community, beginning with the Asia region.
I strongly hope that Hong Kong's freedom under “one country, two systems” will continue to be maintained, and that Hong Kong’s economic relationship with Japan remains stable also.
Japan-North Korea talks
Makita, Kyodo: This is in relation to North Korea. I believe that responding to North Korea is a matter of urgency. Do you have any intention of making a decision within this month, for example? Also, it appears that the families of the abductees are opposed to the idea of Japanese officials going to North Korea. How will it affect?
Minister Kishida: The Government of Japan as a whole intends to decide on what policy to take based on careful consideration of the opinions of all relevant parties, including the victims of abduction. Regarding the timeframe for the decision, nothing whatsoever has been decided at the present time. Whether the timing, the content or our reaponse, nothing has been decided.
Houga, TBS: You said previously that you wanted to respond as soon as possible. When you say “as soon as possible,” by what point do you think it would be appropriate to make a decision?
Minister Kishida: In fact, we want to do so. However, nothing has been decided at this stage in terms of what will be the conclusion.