Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Sunday, February 7, 2016, 6:00 p.m. Minister’s Audience Room, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.
Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I just had a Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) Foreign Ministers’ Telephone Talk with Mr. Yun Byung-se, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the ROK from 5:30 p.m., for 25 minutes. I explained that this ballistic missile launch by North Korea, following the recent nuclear test, is totally unacceptable and that Japan has lodged a serious protest. I also communicated that Japan is has decided to take measures of its own. Minister Yun expressed a serious sense of crisis and grave assessment of the situation. I confirmed with Minister Yun the need for close cooperation with related countries, including the ROK and United States, in order to accelerate consultations related to a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution and to achieve the swift adoption of a strong resolution.
We also shared the idea that it is important to promote security cooperation between Japan and ROK, as well as cooperation with the United States, especially at such an important time.
Today I have scheduled Foreign Ministers’ telephone talks with the United States, France, and Russia. The Government intends to continue to strongly urge North Korea to faithfully implement the UNSC resolutions, the Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks, and other agreements.
Reporter: You just mentioned security cooperation. The matter of a Japan-ROK General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) has been a concern. Was that discussed today?
Foreign Minister Kishida: We exchanged views about specific cooperation between Japan and the ROK and also cooperation with the United States. However, I would like to refrain from commenting on the specific details. At any rate, I believe that security cooperation among the three countries is very important for the peace, stability and prosperity of the region. We will continue to make firm efforts.
Reporter: Although you just referred to independent sanctions, the UNSC is still engaged in consultations regarding the adoption of a resolution. Is my understanding correct that the Government is considering the possibility to proceed with independent sanctions before a UNSC resolution?
Foreign Minister Kishida: The Government intends to promptly examine the content for implementing its own measures.
Reporter: Does “promptly” suggest without waiting for the adoption of a UNSC resolution?
Foreign Minister Kishida: Of course we are making efforts to achieve adoption of a UNSC resolution as soon as possible. However, Japan needs to thoroughly examine and move forward with its own measures. The Government intends to implement these measures as quickly as possible.
Reporter: Did the ROK side express approval for Japan’s decision to implement its own measures?
Foreign Minister Kishida: We exchanged views on this point. I would like to refrain from commenting on the specific response.
Reporter: I have a question about advancements in North Korea’s missile technology developments. There was previously an assessment that the missile might be capable of reaching the West Coast of the United States. What are your thoughts about the flight distance this time and whether the technology has reached a level that they can actually load nuclear weapon on a missile?
Foreign Minister Kishida: The Government is of course conducting thorough information gathering and analysis, with a strong interest in the situation. We have obtained and are analyzing various pieces of information now, but I think I should refrain from disclosing our assessments of information and other aspects at this venue. We intend to continue sharing information with related countries and engaging in thorough analysis.
Reporter: Is it correct that Foreign Ministers’ meetings with the United States, Russia, and France will take place today?
Foreign Minister Kishida: We have agreed to hold telephone talks with these three countries by late night today.
Reporter: Are they all Foreign Ministers’ meetings?
Foreign Minister Kishida: Yes, they are Foreign Ministers’ meetings.