Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Friday, August 7, 2015, 8:40 a.m.   Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office

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

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida Meets with the Foreign Minister of North Korea, Ri Su-yong

Tachimachi, NHK: After the Japan-North Korea meeting ended yesterday, you indicated that you intend to continue to make efforts, but could you please explain specifically what sort of efforts you will be making regarding North Korea?

Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I held yesterday’s meeting after being instructed by the Prime Minister to make urgent efforts to extract concrete action from North Korea on resolving the abductions issue.

Going forward I will examine exactly what sorts of actions North Korea will take, specifically, and while examining the situation, I will continue to make efforts to extract concrete actions. That is the policy behind my efforts.

I do not believe I should cite anything specific at the present stage. However, I intend to continue making the efforts I mentioned just now.

Tachimachi, NHK: The Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea is suggesting that a deadline should be established, and also that efforts between states should take place once a month. How do you intend to respond to these suggestions?

Minister Kishida: I intend to listen carefully to the opinions of the various persons involved. However, the Government’s policy is as I have stated now.

Informal Conversation with the Russian Foreign Minister, Lavrov

Nakakuki, Kyodo Press: Yesterday you held an informal conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Given that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is indicating that he intends to visit the Northern Territories, did you call for self-restraint or have any similar discussion?

Minister Kishida: No concrete exchange whatsoever took place. I met him at the venue and I greeted him, that is all.

Nakakuki, Kyodo Press: What is the Government’s view on this issue Does it intend to deal with this problem at a high level, for example?

Minister Kishida: I am aware of the reports about Prime Minister Medvedev’s Northern Territories visit, and if such a visit does take place, it will be incompatible with the Government of Japan’s position.

The Government of Japan’s position and views have already been conveyed to the Russian side. We intend to continue to make firm requests at a variety of levels going forward as well. Regarding the impact, as far as the Government of Japan is concerned, the fact is that the leaders of Japan and Russia have affirmed the goal of Russian President Vladimir Putin visiting Japan, and as preparation for that the Government of Japan is also considering a visit to Russia by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. However, at present nothing has been decided regarding the visit to Japan or the visit to Russia.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida Meets with the Foreign Minister of North Korea, Ri Su-yong

Ukai, TV Tokyo: At a press conference following the meeting with Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong yesterday, you indicated that Foreign Minister Ri had stated that North Korea is implementing (the investigation) appropriately, as based on the agreement. However, as Minister, how much progress do you think was made toward resolving the issue as a result of this meeting, and, in your view, was any progress made in the first place?

Minister Kishida: As I stated earlier, I made efforts based on instructions from the Prime Minister. I believe that Japan’s views, and Japan’s current circumstances and position, have been firmly conveyed. However, with regard to what sort of response this will lead to, I intend to pay close attention from here on out.

Ukai, TV Tokyo: When you say you will continue to make efforts, do you mean that the strength of the efforts will be increased, or that different methods are also being considered?

Minister Kishida: The fact is that thus far, the Government of Japan has continued to consider how to extract concrete and positive action from North Korea. And, going forward, we intend to make efforts based on the policy I just mentioned, while keeping a close eye on the other side’s response.