Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida

Friday, January 8, 2016, 8:32 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office

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

Foreign and Defense Ministers’ Meeting between Japan and the United Kingdom

Toba, Nippon TV: Firstly, following the nuclear test by North Korea, Minister, you held telephone talks with the foreign ministers of the G7 countries yesterday and the day before yesterday. Today, what sort of exchange of views do you intend to have with the foreign minister of the U.K. in view of the Japan-U.K. “2 + 2”?

Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: The second Japan-U.K. “2 + 2” is scheduled to be held today. This is the first “2 + 2” to be held since the first one was held in January last year, but to begin with I think we will exchange views on counterterrorism measures and regional affairs, and then discuss the two countries’ security and defense cooperation. Alongside that I also intend to raise the matter of the recent nuclear test by North Korea.

The U.K. is also a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, so I by all means hope it will also be possible to confirm cooperation with the U.K. in order to promptly adopt a new, powerfully-worded resolution at the Security Council.

Nuclear Test by North Korea

Toba, Nippon TV: Following the nuclear test by North Korea the Government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) has decided to recommence radio broadcasts from noon today. What is the Government of Japan’s position?

Minister Kishida: I am aware it has been announced that the ROK will recommence its radio broadcasts from noon today, as you pointed out. The Government of Japan will keep an eye on the development you mentioned, while continuing to maintain close contact with the Government of the ROK.

Odanaka, Mainichi Shimbun: A United States-People’s Republic of China Foreign Ministers’ telephone talk took place on January 7 local time, and close coordination was discussed. What are your views on that talk? Also, in the past China has expressed a strongly guarded view during discussions for adopting a Security Council resolution, but what are your expectations in terms of China’s response this time?

Minister Kishida: First, I would like to refrain from commenting on the U.S.-China Foreign Ministers’ telephone talk from my standpoint as Minister. However, I certainly believe we must cooperate firmly with China on this Security Council matter, in order to adopt a new, powerfully-worded resolution promptly.

Odanaka, Mainichi Shimbun: In light of the U.S.-China Foreign Ministers’ telephone talk, is the Japanese side currently planning anything between the foreign ministers of Japan and China?

Minister Kishida: We intend to make efforts to promote communication between Japan and China also, such as a foreign ministers’ meeting. We also intend to coordinate a telephone talk.

Comfort Women Issue

Kurihara, NHK: My question concerns the comfort women issue. At a Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) division meeting that took place yesterday, it was repeatedly suggested that the payment of 1 billion yen should be contingent on the removal of the statue of the girl in front of the embassy. I am not aware what sort of exchange took place with Mr. Yun Byung-se, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the ROK, at the recent Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, but could you explain how you view the suggestions made at yesterday’s LDP division meeting, and what sort of response the Government will makein the future?

Minister Kishida: Matters such as the establishment of the foundation, the monetary contribution and the removal of the statue of the girl were covered in the agreement that I, as Minister, and Minister Yun announced at the joint press announcement on December 28. There is no more or less to it than that. I understand that the content of the agreement is that each side will fulfill the respective areas that it should. Both countries will appropriately address matters in line with the agreement, I believe.

The South China Sea Situation

Abe, Asahi Shimbun: China is allowing civilian aircraft to land one after the other on the runway it built on an artificial island in the South China Sea. It appears that China is emphasizing civilian use. How do you view this?

Minister Kishida: I see this string of developments by China represents its intention to unilaterally change the status quo and create a fait accompli out of that. Japan expresses profound concern over this situation. I think that such action should be refrained from.

I intend to continue coordinating with the international community and relevant countries to secure seas that are open, free, and peaceful.

Comfort Women Issue

Morifuji, Yomiuri Shimbun: A little while ago you said in regard to the comfort women statue, it is covered in the agreement between yourself and Minister Yun. Ms. Tomomi Inada, however, Chairman of the Policy Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party, has stated the view that removal of the statue should be a prerequisite. It is not a prerequisite, correct?

Minister Kishida: The content of the agreement is as announced during the joint pressannouncement.

Japan-India Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy

Kawachi, Kyodo Press: In relation to the Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, there is a news report that the Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy that was agreed last month with the Government of India will not be put before the current Diet. What is the present forecast?

Minister Kishida: Right now we are working out the specific wording for the Japan-India Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy that you referred to. Consequentially, no concrete schedule has been decided for anything, including the signing and submission to the Diet.

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