Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Saturday, July 2, 2016, 8:18 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Reporter: Have you obtained any new information regarding the incident in Dhaka?
Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: We have just held a meeting of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ emergency response headquarters and received a report about the latest situation. I understand that a member of the Bangladesh Armed Forces held a press briefing and reported that 13 people have been rescued, one of whom is a Japanese national and two of whom are Sri Lankan nationals, and that 20 people have lost their lives and the bodies of the deceased have been transported to a hospital. I understand that we are facing very severe circumstances. Based on the latest information, we are making utmost efforts to confirm the facts, including members of the Japanese Embassy in Bangladesh heading to the hospital. In addition, Mr. Seiji Kihara, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, is serving as the head of the response headquarters in Dhaka, and we are in the process of sending a total of over 30 personnel to provide support on the ground, including the Emergency Response Team. In any case, the Japanese Government intends to take all necessary measures, including confirming the facts, in cooperation with the local authorities and JICA. Terrorism cannot be justified for any reason. The Japanese Government will work in cooperation with the international community to combat terrorism.
Reporter: According to some local media reports, the hostages had been killed before the military stormed the restaurant. Is the Japanese Government aware of this information?
Minister Kishida: We are aware of a number of different media reports. We will continue to confirm the facts and analyze the relevant information.
Reporter: In your opening remarks, you stated that members of the Japanese Embassy in Bangladesh are investigating the facts, including at the hospital. There are reports that the deceased have been transported to a hospital. Are the members of the embassy going to the hospital to confirm whether there were any Japanese nationals among the deceased?
Minister Kishida: The members of the Embassy have headed to the hospital where those who were injured or the bodies of the deceased were transported in order to confirm the facts.
Reporter: If that is the case, does that mean that you know that one Japanese national is safe, and that the Japanese nationals whose safety is still unknown are at the hospital?
Minister Kishida: Rather, they are heading to the hospital to confirm what the situation is. This is still being confirmed.
Reporter: Has the armed group issued any kind of statement about their actions?
Minister Kishida: We are aware of a variety of information. The point you mentioned is one of the matters we are confirming.
Reporter: You used the words “headed to the hospital.” What do you mean by that?
Minister Kishida: They have headed to and arrived at the hospital.
Reporter: They have arrived?
Minister Kishida: Yes.
Reporter: Have they begun efforts to confirm the situation?
Minister Kishida: Yes they have.
Reporter: I have one more question. Today you suspended your campaign activities. What is the plan for tomorrow?
Minister Kishida: I will not conduct campaign activities tomorrow either. I have no plans to do so.
Reporter: Do you think that there were any problems with the operations conducted by the governmental authorities in Bangladesh?
Minister Kishida: We are continuing to confirm the facts. At this stage we are engaged in information gathering and analysis.
Reporter: Regarding the Japanese nationals whose whereabouts and safety are still unknown, are they gathered in one specific location in the hospital, are they in different places, or is their whereabouts itself not known? What is the situation?
Minister Kishida: We are currently making efforts to gather a variety of information and confirm the facts. As part of these efforts, we have sent people to the hospital in question. At this stage, we are confirming and organizing a variety of information.