Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 8:41 a.m.   Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office

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

Opening remarks

(1) Minister Kishida’s attendance at ASEAN-related Foreign Ministers' Meetings

Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I will visit Malaysia from the evening of Wednesday, August 5 to August 6 and attend ASEAN-related Foreign Ministers' Meetings. the ASEAN Community will be established this year, and in addition, this year is also a milestone year as the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the East Asia Summit (EAS). In the series of meetings I, as Minister, intend to carry out discussions on support to the establishment of the ASEAN Community, strengthening of the EAS, and regional and international affairs, including the South China Sea issues. I hope to strengthen coordination and cooperation with the participating countries toward regional peace and stability.

(2) Issuance of travel warning “evacuation advice for all residents” concerning some areas of the Western Sahara

Minister Kishida: To strengthen safety measures for Japanese nationals abroad following the recent murder of Japanese hostages in Syria, it has been decided that basically I, Minister for Foreign Affairs, will issue “evacuation advice for all resident” to raise awareness among citizens.

This time, as the first case, I will issue an “evacuation advice for all resident” for part of the Western Sahara region in North Africa as of today. I am strongly requesting the postponement of travel to the said region. The details will be announced in a separate press release.

ASEAN-related Foreign Ministers' Meetings

Toba, Nippon TV: Firstly, regarding the ASEAN meetings you mentioned, I assume that there will be a variety of bilateral meetings with countries this time, such as a bilateral meeting with North Korea, but what sort of dialogue do you hope to emphasize?

Minister Kishida: Firstly, where bilateral meetings are concerned we are in the process of coordination for bilateral meetings with a variety of countries, including the Chair country Malaysia. What we will discuss differ, but naturally I intend to discuss the Government of Japan’s position and bilateral relations with the country concerned, as well as exchange views on regional affairs, particularly the ASEAN region, and regional affairs that have been generating major debate recently, such as developments in the South China Sea.

Russia’s bill on distributing land in the Far East region free of charge

Toba, Nippon TV: There have been reports that the Government of Russia is moving ahead with a bill concerning free distribution of land in the Northern Territories. Amid preparations for a visit to Japan by Russian President Vladimir Putin this year, what impact do you think this proposal will have, if it is implemented?

Minister Kishida: Firstly, I am aware of the reports, and I am paying attention to the Russian side’s moves with regard to the Northern Territories issue and issues relating to the development of the Northern Territories. I recognize that for these issues to be fundamentally resolved, the Northern Territories issue itself needs to be resolved.

I intend to continue to negotiate tenaciously to find a solution that is mutually acceptable. And where President Putin’s visit to Japan and a Minister for Foreign Affairs’ visit to Russia is concerned, at present nothing has been decided yet. I believe that we should make decisions after taking a variety of perspectives into account in a comprehensive manner.

Disclosure by WikiLeaks concerning collection of communication records by an American intelligence organization

Kurihara, NHK: On the website of WikiLeaks, documents which reveal that the Government of the United States tapped telephone calls of high-ranking officials of the Japanese government and Japanese private companies were disclosed. I would like to ask you how the Government of Japan confirms facts about the documents.

Minister Kishida: First of all, WikiLeaks is a private organization. Therefore, the Government of Japan would like to refrain from making a comment on a press release that WikiLeaks, a private organization, made based on an unnamed source. On that basis, I think it would be very regrettable if such a report were true. Then, concerning this issue, the Government of Japan is currently in contact with Mr. James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence of the United States, and will continue to strongly request confirmation of facts about the report.

Kurihara, NHK: You stated that it would be very regrettable. Do you mean you will convey that regret to the Government of the United States when the fact is confirmed?

Minister Kishida: Currently, we are confirming facts. Therefore, I think we at first should confirm whether it is fact or not.