Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida

Friday, January 9, 2015, 9:41 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office

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

Opening Remarks

Foreign Minister Kishida’s visit to India, France, Belgium and the U.K.

Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: If certain circumstances allow I will visit India, France, Belgium and the U.K. from January 15 to 22, from the perspective of promoting “diplomacy that takes a panoramic perspective of the world map” even more powerfully this year.

In India, I will further strengthen Japan-India cooperation in a wide range of fields, including politics, security and the economy, through Japan-India Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue.

In order to further strengthen security cooperation and trade and economic relations with Europe, I will hold meetings with the foreign ministers of France, Belgium and the U.K., and Ms. Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, along with holding the first Joint Foreign and Defense Ministers’ Meeting in the U.K.

Additionally, from the perspective of strengthening Japan’s strategic message, while in Delhi and Brussels I intend to firmly convey Japan’s determination to contribute to regional and global peace and prosperity.

Foreign Minister Kishida’s visit to India, France, Belgium and the U.K.

Yamaguchi, TV Tokyo: My question concerns the foreign visit that you just mentioned. This is your first foreign visit this year. Could you explain the reasons why you chose these four countries and regions to visit?

Minister Kishida: To begin with, this year also I must firmly advance “diplomacy that takes a panoramic perspective of the world map.” With that in mind, to start with I will visit Asia and Europe, which are important partners for Japan’s foreign diplomacy. I want to firmly confirm or make it as an opportunity to confirm how Japan could contribute to global peace, stability and prosperity in the future, and furthermore how Japan can cooperate on economic development and global challenges.

Amid that, it goes without saying that India is an important partner that shares fundamental values and strategic interests with Japan. In addition to the bilateral relationship which will of course be taken upon, I also want to exchange views on the various challenges facing the international community and the region.

The U.K. and France are important partners for Japan moving forward with its proactive contribution to peace policy, and I by all means hope to carry out in-depth discussions on the security field as well as issues such as global challenges.

The EU launched a new administration in December last year. I believe that Japan must build a firm relationship of trust with the new EU administration too, and therefore I will visit the EU and exchange views.

In addition, next year Japan will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Belgium. With that in mind, I intend to strive to have robust communications with Belgium.

Terrorist attack in Paris

Yamaguchi, TV Tokyo: As it happens, there was a terrorist attack in France, where you are scheduled to visit in the near future. An incident involving the shooting of a police officer also occurred subsequently, and France remains in quite a high state of alert. During your trip to France, do you intend to share views on the field of counter-terrorism in your meetings with officials such as Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development?

Minister Kishida: During this visit to France I want to meet with Minister Fabius and hold an in-depth exchange of views on various topics, not just the bilateral relationship. Within that, I imagine that the fight against terrorism is likely to be one major theme.

These exchanges involve other parties so I would not be able to definitively state here what kinds of exchanges of views will actually take place, but I hope to exchange views broadly, including on the point you mentioned.

Japan-China-Republic of Korea Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

Yamaguchi, TV Tokyo: The question changes to Asia, and the Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. I believe that the ROK side has been making coordination since the end of last year, but am I correct in assuming that it will be quite difficult to hold the meeting this month?

Minister Kishida: Japan has always placed importance on Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meetings from the perspective of advancing a trilateral relationship that is future-oriented. However, at present no detailed schedule has been decided. I strongly hope that the schedule will be coordinated continually, centering on the ROK which is the chair country.

Foreign Minister Kishida’s visit to India, France, Belgium and the U.K.

Ichinose, Kyodo News: You said that you will communicate Japan’s message in Delhi and Brussels, but in terms of contents, what themes will you deliver? I imagine you are still in the process of considering various things.

Minister Kishida: This year marks a major milestone for international community which is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. In this context, I believe that we must send a clear message as to how we will contribute to regional and global peace and prosperity, and also how we will address global issues.

I want to take the opportunity provided by this visit to major countries in Asia and Europe to communicate Japan’s message on these points. We are currently coordinating the details.

Terrorist attack in Paris

Kojima, NHK: To return to the terrorist incident in France, while you have sent a message to your counterpart in France, can I ask your opinion on this incident and what will be the response of the Government of Japan?

Minister Kishida: We cannot help but be immensely shocked and outraged at this incident. We cannot allow such despicable terrorist attacks on freedom of speech and the press. I strongly condemn such acts. At the same time, I want to express my deepest condolences to those who lost lives in this attack and a speedy recovery to those who were injured. Prime Minister Abe has already expressed the feelings of Japan to President Hollande, while I also have sent our condolences to Foreign Minister Fabius. While sharing such feelings with international community, I believe that we must continue to fight against terrorism.

Back to Press Conferences