Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Sunday, February 7, 2016, 11:59 p.m.    Central Entrance Hall, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

Opening remarks

Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: Following the provocative act by North Korea, nuclear test last month and a subsequent ballistic missile launch, I held telephone talks this evening with the Foreign Ministers of seven countries: the Republic of Korea (ROK), France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Malaysia, and the United States. We were able to have candid exchanges of views. First of all, I confirmed with these seven countries that the series of actions by North Korea violate the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and are totally unacceptable, and that we will continue to respond to the situation in close cooperation.

Among these, in the Foreign Ministers’ talks with the United States and the ROK, I explained that Japan is prepared to proceed with its own measures, and received positive responses from both Foreign Ministers regarding Japan’s resolute stance. I also reaffirmed with both Foreign Ministers the importance of security cooperation between Japan, the United States, and the ROK.

With regard to Russia, I requested Russia’s cooperation at the UNSC, and we confirmed that we would cooperate at a variety of levels, including the expert level.

In addition, the UNSC will hold an emergency meeting in the early hours on February 8, more specifically, at 1 a.m. Japan time, at the request of Japan, the United States, and the ROK. Japan will continue to respond firmly in the UNSC, including the adoption of a new UNSC resolution, regarding which discussions are ongoing among the related countries.

Japan intends to fully carry out its responsibilities as the country holding the G7 Presidency and as a non-permanent member of the UNSC.

Japan will continue to strongly urge North Korea, in close cooperation with the international community, to faithfully implement the UNSC resolutions and the Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks.


Reporter: Could you please be a little more specific about the details of the last talk, with Secretary of State Kerry?

Minister Kishida: Basically, I gave explanations of our position, including Japan’s preparedness for its own measures, and Secretary Kerry explained the US assessment of the situation and its views. I would like to refrain from commenting on the specific contents, particularly with regard to the explanation from the US side. We did agree the importance of cooperation between Japan and the United States at the UNSC and other fora, and also the importance of cooperation among Japan, the United States, and the ROK. In any case, we shared the view that it is important to send a strong message at the UNSC. That is the essence of the dialogue. I will refrain from going into further detail.

Reporter: Regarding your telephone talks with Secretary of State Kerry, what kind of response was there from the US side regarding the fact that Japan would be implementing its own measures?

Minister Kishida: I conveyed to the United States and the ROK that Japan is prepared to proceed with its own measures. I received positive responses to that from both the United States and the ROK.

Reporter: When should we expect these Japan’s own measures?

Minister Kishida: As the Chief Cabinet Secretary explained in his press conference and as explained elsewhere, the Government is working with the aim of implementing such measures as soon as possible.

Reporter: I have a question related to Japan’s measures. Regarding the measures, Japan lifted some of the sanctions under the agreement reached in Stockholm two years ago. If Japan once again implements is own measures in relation to the nuclear test or the missile on this occasion, how will that be reconciled with the abduction issue? How will that be explained? What are your views on this?

Minister Kishida: Nothing has been decided regarding the contents. The Government is considering the matter based on the instruction by the Prime Minister. I believe we must take measures that convey Japan’s determination. We will continue to consider the matter.

Reporter: In that case, will the Government re-introduce the sanctions that had been lifted in response to the offer from North Korea to begin investigations into the abduction issue? Or will you introduce even stronger measures?

Minister Kishida: Nothing has been decided regarding the contents.

Reporter: You had Foreign Ministers’ talks with seven countries today. Could you tell us if you have one scheduled with China, or, if you are in the process of making arrangements for one?

Minister Kishida: There are currently no plans for a telephone talk with China.