Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida

Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 8:42 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office

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

Bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the APEC meeting

Kubota, TBS: APEC is approaching this week. I would like to ask what your thoughts are regarding the meetings, and the current situation regarding how much progress is being made on the coordination for bilateral meetings.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida: The APEC ministerial meeting is scheduled to be held at the end of this week, and the APEC summit meeting is scheduled to be held next week. Ministers and leaders from a large number of major countries will gather together at these meetings, and various discussions centered on the economy are expected to take place. The Government of Japan intends to use this as an opportunity to firmly promote its contribution to the international community, and make an appeal of its economic diplomacy. Additionally, we are currently making coordination on bilateral meetings and bilateral talks, respectively. At the present point in time nothing has been confirmed, but we intend to work energetically and right up until the last minute to ensure holding the bilateral meetings.

Kubota, TBS: Regarding Japan and China, the issue of whether or not a summit meeting will take place is also attracting attention. Up to now you have had contacts with Foreign Minister Wang Yi in an unofficial format, but this time will you be aiming for a meeting in a format that can be announced advance? Also, how will that meeting be positioned as a lead-up to a summit meeting?

Minister Kishida: Presently nothing has been decided regarding a bilateral meeting, a summit meeting or a foreign ministers’ meeting with China. However, quiet efforts to improve the relationship are continuing between the two countries. I assume that building up various dialogues will lead to dialogue at a high political level, and I am continuing to make efforts according to that objective. At present nothing has been decided but because the APEC meetings will take place in Beijing, we certainly hope to bring about dialogues of this kind.

The issue of Chinese coral vessels in the marine area around the Ogasawara Islands

Kubota, TBS: Where China is concerned, this weekend also there was an issue involving the poaching of coral around the Ogasawara Islands. I would like to ask once again about the Government of Japan’s response to this issue.

Minister Kishida: On the point you have mentioned, since around mid-September a large number of Chinese vessels have been confirmed. Additionally, according to a report on October 30, 212 vessels were confirmed. Furthermore, arrests have been made on five occasions thus far. Those are the circumstances. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has continued to make representations to the Chinese side via the embassy route and has done so repeatedly up to now. In terms of the Chinese side’s reaction, I believe that the Chinese side is also showing awareness of the seriousness of this situation. We by all means intend to ask the Chinese side to make an effective response.

Japan-Russia relations

Kubota, TBS: I would also like to ask about Japan and Russia. It is said that this weekend Russia once again asked you to visit Russia. Your visit to Russia remains postponed, but could you explain the current considerations?

Minister Kishida: Up to now the Russian side has long attached importance to a visit to Russia by Japan’s foreign minister. However, currently nothing has been decided. Certainly, the Government of Japan also views the Japan-Russia relationship as an important bilateral relationship, and we must continue to hold political dialogue.

The issue of Chinese coral vessels in the marine area around the Ogasawara Islands

Makita, Kyodo Press: You mentioned about an effective response by the Chinese side in connection with the coral issue, but in specific terms the authorities will…

Minister Kishida: This is about making a request to the Chinese side, and so I would like to refrain from specifically stating what we would like to have the Chinese side do. However, we have repeatedly informing the Chinese side of the current situation and made firm representations regarding the Government of Japan’s awareness of the issue. And the Chinese side is also showing awareness of how serious it is. I by all means intend to call on the Chinese side to make an appropriate and effective response to this issue. A response will be requested firmly based on the current circumstances.

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