Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Tuesday, May 10, 2016, 8:50 a.m.   Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office

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

Seventh Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea

Reporter: I have a question about North Korea. North Korea announced a new leadership line-up, including First Secretary Kim Jong-un’s assumption of the newly created Party Chairman post. Please explain the Government of Japan’s reaction.

Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I am aware that the Workers’ Party of Korea held its Seventh Congress that started on May 6 and finished on May 9. However, details about the full scope of the Congress are not sufficiently clear yet. We intend to continue gathering and analyzing information while closely collaborating with related countries.

However, the Government cannot accept North Korea’s clarification of a stance of continuing nuclear and missile developments, failing to adhere to multiple Security Council resolutions, the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and the Pyongyang Declaration by Japan and North Korea, and presentation of one-sided opinions about Japan. We intend to continue pursuing a comprehensive solution to the various outstanding issues by applying the principles of “dialogue and pressure” and “action-for-action” and also working together with related countries.

Reporter: You just mentioned nuclear and missile developments. First Secretary Kim Jong-un appears to have spoken about global denuclearization. What are your thoughts about these comments?

Minister Kishida: I have heard about the comments. However, he refers to North Korea as a nuclear-weapon country and at the same time calls for global denuclearization, and I think further analysis is needed to understand his intentions. In any case, these comments appear to contradict nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation initiatives, such as the international Non-Proliferation Treaty regime.

Panama documents

Reporter: I have a question about the Panama Papers. Some observers have cited tax evasion, and I heard that this topic will be discussed at the Ise-Shima Summit at the end of the month. How does the Government of Japan plan to respond?

Minister Kishida: I am aware of media reports regarding the disclosure of new information related to the Panama Papers. However, whether or not this topic will be discussed at the Ise-Shima Summit is still being coordinated at the administrative-level and related coordination continues to take place.

Ise-Shima Summit

Reporter: Regarding the Summit, some media reports today are suggesting that maritime security might be addressed at the outreach meeting. Where does coordination stand on this point?

Minister Kishida: I think the main topic for the Ise-Shima Summit’s outreach meeting will be what is required to achieve prosperity in Asia. My understanding is that coordination is still taking place in regard to specific points of discussion.

Reporter: Could this include political and security matters?

Minister Kishida: As I just mentioned, my understanding is that the outreach meeting will mainly be discussing the theme of what is required to achieve prosperity in Asia. I believe coordination at the administrative-level is continuing on the specifics.

Entry by a Taiwanese government vessel into exclusive economic zone by the Okinotori Islands

Reporter: Please provide an update on the entry by a Taiwanese patrol vessel within 200 nautical miles of the Okinotori Islands and the current situation as well as Japan’s reaction and response.

Minister Kishida: Japan has confirmed that a Taiwanese government vessel is navigating in Japan’s exclusive economic zone by the Okinotori Islands. It is extremely regrettable that the vessel entered this zone despite our repeated requests. We are currently asking the Taiwanese side to immediately move the vessel out of this zone.

Reporter: Taiwan’s diplomatic authorities appear to be requesting discussions with Japan. Will Japan respond to this?

Minister Kishida: No, it will not. Japan is responding in the manner I just described. That’s our position.

Presidential election in the Philippines

Reporter: Candidate Rodrigo Duterte appears to have won in the Philippines’ presidential election, and it has been pointed out that this result possibly has an impact on the Philippines’ stance toward territorial claims in the South China Sea. What is your view?

Minister Kishida: I am aware of media reports that candidate Duterte appears to have won. Yet we will continue to monitor developments because the Commission on Elections for the presidential election has not disclosed the official tally yet.

Nevertheless, the Philippines is an important strategic partner in the region, and Japan intends to promote our strategic partnership with the new Philippine administration, just as up to now, whoever of the candidates is elected.