Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Friday, October 14, 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.
Contribution to UNESCO
Reporter: I have a question about Japan’s contribution to UNESCO. Normally, the payment occurs promptly after budget passage, but Japan still has not paid yet for this year. Please confirm the facts related to this.
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida: Yesterday, I explained the situation related to not having made contribution yet at an LDP meeting. Japan will make a comprehensive decision going forward.
Reporter: The primary reason for holding back on the contribution this fiscal year would appear to be the Nanjing Massacre case from fiscal 2015. The Japanese Government reacted negatively to inscription of this event on the Memory of the World. Is this a major factor?
Minister Kishida: There are no specific reasons. This is a comprehensive assessment.
Japan-Republic of Korea Agreement
Reporter: I have a question about the agreement between the Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) and comfort women issue. Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se stated that the Korean people felt disappointment in response to the recent comment by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he is not at all thinking about sending a letter of apology, and suggested that the ROK wants Japan to consider new additional actions. Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se is the one who signed the agreement with you. This type of comment from the Minister who signed the agreement seems to take the topic to a different level than previously. Please explain your thoughts.
Minister Kishida: The agreement between Japan and ROK is precisely what is announced in December 2015– nothing more, nothing less. Since then, the two countries have repeatedly confirmed that it is important for both governments to sincerely carry out the agreement.
Reporter: Will there be some type of further comment to address Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se’s comments?
Minister Kishida: The key point is that it is important to carry out the agreement sincerely.
Japan-Russia Strategic Dialogue
Reporter: Strategic dialogue took place between Japan and Russia yesterday. Mr. Shunsuke Sugiyama, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, noted that the two sides had a substantive discussion in the dialogue. What are your thoughts?
Minister Kishida: Japan and Russia held the 12th Strategic Dialogue on October 13. Regarding the Strategic Dialogue, three years and eight months had passed since the previous one and the two sides decided to hold the Strategic Dialogue based on exchanges from the recent Japan-Russia Foreign Ministers’ meeting. I have been told that a frank exchange of views took place in the dialogue.
I also heard that the two sides agree to hold this type of meeting once a year. It is important for diplomatic authorities in the two countries to maintain communications, and I hope to continue this activity.
Reporter: Has anything changed in coordination of a visit by you to Russia?
Minister Kishida: I would like to refrain from discussing specific details because the dialogue was an exchange of frank views. But I have been reported to that the two sides mentioned in the context of the bilateral relationship about making firm preparations for the visit by President Vladimir Putin.