Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Tuesday, January 19, 2016, 8:37 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office
Lifting of sanctions on Iran
Fukai, TBS: Concerning the sanctions Japan is imposing on Iran, could you explain the current situation of the considerations on lifting the sanctions, and the future outlook?
Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan: Regarding the lifting of Japan’s sanctions, in light of meeting the implementation date for the final agreement on Iran’s nuclear issue, coordination is going on among the relevant ministries and agencies in Japan in connection with these sanctions. Following this, a Cabinet decision will be made, I believe, and we hope the Cabinet decision will be made as early as this week, if possible.
Sanctions on North Korea
Fukai, TBS: Regarding the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)’s resolution on sanctions on North Korea, at the Japan-United States-Republic of Korea (ROK) Vice-Ministerial Consultation the other day, and at the press briefing following it, Mr. Akitaka Saiki, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, made comments that in effect appeared to request the cooperation of China. What situation the considerations on imposing sanctions in the future is at, and what is the state of progress?
Minister Kishida: At the recent Japan-U.S.-ROK Vice-Ministerial Consultation, cooperation on the UNSC’s adoption of the resolution on these sanctions was confirmed, and it was confirmed that the three countries will by all means work together and lead the discussion.
The cooperation with China and Russia was also confirmed, but following that, the situation is that bilateral efforts between the relevant countries are taking place regarding the resolution. The situation is that various efforts are continuing and nothing specific has been decided yet, as I understand.
Fukai, TBS: Do you expect to work on China in the future, Minister?
Minister Kishida: We intend to pursue communication with China in a variety of formats. Even at the ministerial level I think it is important to pursue communication, although at present nothing specific has been decided.
Presidential election in Taiwan
Abe, Asahi Shimbun: In your statement on the recent general election you expressed congratulations on the election of Ms. Tsai Ing-wen, I believe. However, in the past, for example when Mr. Ma Ying-jeou was elected, the Minister’s statement did not contain congratulatory expressions like this. What thoughts are behind that aim and intent this time?
Minister Kishida: With regard to expressing congratulations, the democratic election was carried out smoothly and I think it was natural to offer congratulations to the person who was elected. It has no special significance other than that.
Japan-China High-Level Economic Dialogue
Odanaka, Mainichi Shimbun: My question concerns the Japan-China High-Level Economic Dialogue, which was agreed upon last year. There are some reports it will be held in Tokyo this month, and I would like to ask the current situation of considerations.
Minister Kishida: At the Japan-China Summit Meeting held on November 1 last year, the leaders shared the view that high-level dialogue between Japan and China would be reopened early this year. I think coordination will take place based on that agreement, but at the very least, I do not think the dialogue will be held this month.
Foreign ministers’ telephone talk with China
Kurihara, NHK: In terms of Japan and China, coordination to hold a telephone talk with Mr. Wang Yi, Foreign Minister of China, is taking place…
Minister Kishida: As we have made inquiries, both sides have various events scheduled, and so the coordination has not been completed. I believe that if there is an opportunity to hold a telephone talk, it will be meaningful, but at present nothing specific has been decided.