Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Tuesday, September 15, 2015, 9:26 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office
This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.
Long-range ballistic missile launch on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the North Korean Workers’ Party
Kurihara, NHK: North Korea is indicating it will effectively launch a long-range ballistic missile to mark the anniversary of the founding of the North Korean Workers’ Party on October 10. What will be the Government of Japan’s response and its position?
Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: First, resolutions by the United Nations Security Council prohibit North Korea from conducting any launches using ballistic missile technology. Even if the launch is purported to be for a satellite, it will violate the Security Council resolutions, I believe. I think the Government of Japan must continue to firmly seek self-restraint from North Korea to begin with, while coordinating with relevant countries such as the United States and the Republic of Korea. We intend to continue to firmly ask North Korea to comply with the Security Council resolutions as well as the Six-Party Talks agreement and other commitments.
Australia’s Liberal Party leadership election
Kurihara, NHK: Following a leadership election by Australia’s ruling party, the Liberal Party of Australia, it has been decided that Mr. Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia, will step down. Some have observed that the relationship between Japan and Australia and the relationship between Japan, the United States, and Australia moved ahead due to Prime Minister Abbott’s leadership. How do you think the Japan-Australia relationship will be affected in the future?
Minister Kishida: I am aware that a leadership election for the Liberal Party of Australia took place on September 14; and that Mr. Malcolm Turnbull, former Minister for Communications, defeated Prime Minister Abbott to be elected as party leader. Australia is an important partner for Japan, and the Government of Japan will continue to strive to further strengthen the Japan-Australia relationship. That will not change.
I by all means intend to continue to make efforts to strengthen the Japan-Australia relationship.
Legislation for Peace and Security
Kurihara, NHK: As early as this week, the bills relating to the legislation for peace and security are expected to be finally put to a vote. How do you intend to approach the final discussions in the Diet?
Minister Kishida: Intensive discussions on the legislation for peace and security took place yesterday with the attendance of Prime Minister, and central public hearings are scheduled for today. Regional public hearings are scheduled to be held tomorrow, I understand. Regarding how the discussions will move forward from here on, that is something that will be decided in the Diet and the House of Councilors, and so I will refrain from commenting from the position of the Government. However, amid the increasing severity of security environment surrounding Japan, the Government believes the legislation for peace and security is necessary for protecting the lives and livelihoods of citizens. I intend to continue to strive to provide explanations.
Minister Kishida’s visit to Russia
Kurihara, NHK: Last week you explained that a report that you, Minister Kishida, would visit Russia was not based on the fact. Is there still no change to that situation now?
Minister Kishida: To begin with, regarding my visit to Russia, there are no such facts as reported in the media. We will continue to consider my visit to Russia in a comprehensive manner while taking a variety of elements into account. That will not change.