Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida

Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 8:42 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office

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

Opening remarks

(1) The submission of documents to the NPT Review Conference by the NPDI

Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I would like to talk about the NPT Review Conference taking place in just over a month.

This year, the 70th year since the atomic bombings, as Minister for Foreign Affairs from one of the bombed cities and with thoughts of the bombed cities in mind, I am strongly determined to achieve concrete results at the NPT Review Conference that will be held from the end of April, and make one or two steps forward on the engagement for achieving “a world free of nuclear weapons.”

Based on that perspective, the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI), which comprises 12 non-nuclear-weapon states, has already submitted 18 documents for the NPT Review Conference to the United Nations Secretariat, based on the Hiroshima Declaration issued in Hiroshima last year.

The NPDI’s proposals are broad in content, and call for concrete actions both by nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states. The Government of Japan is attaching importance to the following three points in particular regarding nuclear disarmament.

The first point is that nuclear-weapon states should ensure, as a premise for nuclear disarmament, the transparency of their nuclear capabilities.

The second is that nuclear-weapon states should reduce all their nuclear weapons. All nuclear-weapon states should carry out reduction negotiations in the future.

Thirdly, based on debate on the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons, nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states should both be united to achieve “a world free of nuclear weapons.”

In order to achieve concrete results at the NPT Review Conference based on the NPDI’s documents, I instruct embassies abroad to call on all countries participating in the conference to support the NPDI’s documents. In the next few days the NPDI is scheduled to submit to the UN Secretariat a document compiling all the 18 documents it has issued thus far.

“A world free of nuclear weapons” cannot be achieved without cooperation between nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states. A realistic and practical approach, however it looks a detour, is in fact a shorter route. This is what I am promoting.

(2) Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

Minister Kishida: A Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting is scheduled to be held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, on Saturday, March 21. If circumstances allow, I will attend the meeting from the Japanese side, and the meeting is scheduled to be attended from the ROK side by Mr. Yun Byung-se, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and from the Chinese side by Mr. Wang Yi, Minister for Foreign Affairs.

At this Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which is the first to be held in approximately three years, cooperative projects spanning a range of fields and involving the three countries of Japan, China and the ROK will be summed up, and the current state of those projects and future initiatives will be discussed. I will also exchange views on various regional and international affairs with the foreign ministers of both China and the ROK.

Furthermore, with this meeting as an opportunity, I am scheduled to hold a Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and a Japan-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

Fukai, TBS: Will the Japan-China and Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meetings that will be held in conjunction with the Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting take place on Saturday?

Minister Kishida: The meetings are scheduled to be held, but details such as the specific schedule are still being coordinated.

Fukai, TBS: Yesterday there were reports that the Chinese side had been suggesting to the Government of Japan that it will consider a Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit Meeting after assessing the content of the statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. What is the content of those communications that are being made, and how does the Government of Japan view them?

Minister Kishida: The Government of Japan has consistently attached importance to these Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meetings and Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit Meetings, and it views this dialogue process as important for advancing the trilateral relationship in a future-oriented manner.

Consequently the Government is also attaching importance to the Summit Meeting, but at present, details such as the date or location have not been decided in any way. Furthermore, I will refrain from commenting on individual specific exchanges.

Fukai, TBS: At the upcoming Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, what sort of explanations do you intend to give regarding issues such as Japan’s way of thinking in the statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II?

Minister Kishida: From the outset, trilateral meetings between Japan, China and the ROK started with the promotion of trilateral cooperative projects as the main theme, and I do not imagine that the nature of the meetings will change at this Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. In any event, I expect we will discuss our respective matters of interest, including regional and international affairs, but at present I would like to refrain from predicting the specific content.

Senkaku Islands on a Chinese Map

Fukai, TBS: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a Chinese map, in which the name of the “Senkaku Islands” is marked, on its website yesterday. Could you tell us once again about the purpose of posting the map?

Minister Kishida: It has been confirmed that there are materials published in the 1950s and 60s by the Chinese side on the premise that the Senkaku Islands are part of Japanese territory. The Government of Japan has been active in communicating information internationally regarding the Senkaku Islands, such as through posting such materials on the website of MOFA.

Concerning the material that you have pointed out, it is regarded that the map had been made on the premise that the Senkaku Islands are part of the territory of Japan and MOFA published this new material yesterday by updating its website regarding the Senkaku Islands from a viewpoint of indicating that China’s own assertions are completely groundless.

Russian Army’s Preparation of the Use of Nuclear Weapons in the Wake of Political Turmoil in Ukraine

Fukai, TBS: President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation stated that he had prepared nuclear weapons when the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was annexed in Russia. What does the Government of Japan think about his remarks?

Minister Kishida: I know such a report has been made. Any change by force or with coercion to the status quo can never be allowed. The Government of Japan will make efforts for peaceful and diplomatic solutions of the situation in Ukraine while emphasizing cooperation with the G7. We expect that related countries including Russia will make constructive efforts.

In any case, I believe that use of a nuclear weapon should never be allowed. The Government of Japan will continue its efforts for a world free of nuclear weapons.

Senkaku Islands on a Chinese Map

Lee, Hong Kong Phoenix TV: The State Oceanic Administration of China stated that China was the first to discover the Senkaku Islands and named it and there is nothing new in the announcement of the map by the Japanese side. What do you think about it?

Minister Kishida: I believe a fact that the Senkaku Islands, a name which is not used by the Chinese side, is used in the map that we have updated on the website this time shows China’s current assertions have inconsistencies.

China has been making groundless assertions that the Senkaku Islands have been part of China’s territory from ancient times, but as far as I know they have not used the name of the Senkaku Islands in such assertions.

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