Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida

Friday, September 9, 2016, 11:37 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office

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

Opening Remarks

North Korea Situation

Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: Regarding the incident of detecting seismic waves which may differ from the ordinary waveform of a natural earthquake today at 9:30 a.m., Japan continues to share information with the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), and other related countries and analyze the information. If it is determined that this was a nuclear test, it is a clear violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions, the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration, and the Joint Statement from the Six-Party Talks, and it constitutes a grave challenge to the international disarmament and non-proliferation regime centered on the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and Japan strongly condemns it.

Japan lodged a protest through the embassy route in Beijing at 10:44 a.m. Given that collaboration at the United Nations is needed, we also started coordination to call an emergency meeting prior to 10:00 a.m. (JST). Japan believes that a strong message has to be issued at the United Nations, too.

North Korea Situation

Reporter: I have a question about the protest made to North Korea. Does this mean that the Japanese Government thinks that there is a high possibility that this was a nuclear weapon test?

Minister Kishida: We are currently in the process of sharing and analyzing information. There was the detection of seismic waves which may differ from a natural earthquake. The content of Japan’s protest was that it strongly condemns this action if it was a nuclear weapon test.

Reporter: I have a question about collaboration with the US and the ROK. Do you intend to have telephone talks or do something else?

Minister Kishida: Coordination is still taking place. We intend to find the best ways, including telephone talks, to reaffirm and deepen collaboration.

Reporter: Regarding an emergency meeting at the United Nations, while the United Nations adopted a sanctions resolution in March, do you expect the adoption of even tougher sanctions or responses? Is there anything further that can be done?

Minister Kishida: I think it is important for the United Nations Security Council to deliver a strong message. However, I would like to refrain from getting into details at this point because coordination just started for an emergency meeting and the specific format will be discussed and finalized in that forum.

Reporter: I believe Prime Minister Abe, gave instructions to collaborate with China and Russia too. What type of collaboration, such as telephone talks, are you planning, with countries including China and Russia?

Minister Kishida: The issue regarding collaboration with related countries is included in my earlier comments. We intend to coordinate collaboration efforts through telephone talks and other means. However, nothing has been decided at this point.

Reporter: The Six-Party Talks exist as a forum for discussions with North Korea, and there was mention of resuming the Six-Party Talks at the East Asia Summit (EAS). Do you expect a resumption of the Six-Party Talks? What are your thoughts about the effectiveness of the current Six-Party Talks framework?

Minister Kishida: I believe the Six-Party Talks is an effective framework for discussions and dialogue. However, I think it is important for North Korea to present constructive words and behavior for cooperation with the international community regarding nuclear weapon and missile development, in order to utilize this framework. It should not be a forum of discussion for discussion. This is what we have stated so far.

Reporter: Does “constructive words and behavior” mean a commitment to not conduct nuclear tests? Would a meeting of the Six-Party Talks be possible if there was a nuclear test?

Minister Kishida: I think the Six-Party Talks should be considered within the framework. My previous comment that it should not be a forum of discussion for discussion expressed Japan’s position. I have just explained what we have stated so far.

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