Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Sunday, July 3, 2016, 6:21 p.m. Haneda Airport
Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I have just exchanged words with the families. I stated that there are no words to express when I think of the sorrow and pain that they are going through over the taking of these precious lives by such an atrocious act of terrorism. On behalf of the Japanese Government I expressed my heartfelt condolences over the tragic outcome to those who were making their utmost efforts on the frontlines of international cooperation. I also said we will do everything that is possible to support the families, while respecting their feelings.
In addition, earlier, I received a second report by phone from State Minister for Foreign Affairs Seiji Kihara, who is in Bangladesh. In Dhaka, under the leadership of State Minister Kihara, we are exerting maximum efforts to gather information and confirm the facts, as well as to make the necessary preparations for receiving the families and ensuring the swift return of the victims to Japan. I too have once again instructed that everything possible should be done.
The United Nations Security Council has issued a press statement strongly condemning the incident. Not only Japan, but the whole world has expressed indignation and sorrow over this incident. Japan will reinforce cooperation with the international community to ensure that such an incident never occurs again, and also to take all possible measures to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals overseas, by leveraging the full capacity of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and overseas diplomatic missions. These are my opening remarks.
Reporter: Did the families have any words for you, Minister? Could you also tell us about how they looked and how they responded to you?
Minister Kishida: First of all, I entered the room in which the families were waiting, and began by meeting each member individually. I then offered words on behalf of the Japanese Government. This is the way in which I met the families in person. I met with each person individually, but many seemed tired and were mostly silent. After meeting with each person individually, I offered words to the families as a whole on behalf of the Government. There were no particular words expressed by the families in that time. After that, I once again said that as the Government we will offer our utmost support, and asked the family members to take extra care of themselves in this time of deep physical and emotional strain, before excusing myself from the room. That was the situation. As such, there were no particular words expressed by the families.
Reporter: Looking ahead, I believe they will be arriving in Dhaka late tonight. Could you tell us what course of action they will take in Dhaka and when they will return to Japan?
Minister Kishida: Thinking of the feelings of the families, I think their wish is to bring their most precious family members back to Japan as soon as possible. We will do everything we can to address their feelings. To that end, we are currently making preparations for receiving the families. However, in terms of the current situation, since this process also involves our counterparts, I understand that we are still making the concrete logistical arrangements. In any case, we will do our best to do whatever is needed to realize their return to Japan as soon as possible.
Reporter: Does that mean they will first head to the hospital and then go to the site of the incident?
Minister Kishida:Yes. I understand that they will arrive at 10:40 p.m. local time. Those in Dhaka are now confirming what can be done at that time, and are making the necessary preparations. Based on those conditions we will thoroughly finalize the concrete logistical arrangements before they arrive.
Reporter: How many family members are travelling to Dhaka?
Minister Kishida: There are eight families. Eight people including the injured person injured were involved, and each of the eight families will have some family members travelling to Dhaka. In total, that is 18 people.