Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Tuesday, October 11, 2016, 8:47 a.m.   Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office

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

Opening Remarks

Submission of the Paris Agreement to the National Diet

Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: Today, a Cabinet Decision was made to request the National Diet’s approval to conclude the Paris Agreement. I intend to put my fullest efforts into gaining prompt approval from the National Diet.

North Korea Situation

Reporter: There had been expectations for a missile launch, nuclear weapon test, or other provocative behavior by North Korea on the 71st anniversary of its Workers’ Party, and I think Japan had been holding back on independent sanctions and taken a wait-and-see stance on independent sanctions and the UN Security Council resolution. Having moved past this timing and anniversary, does Japan have an outlook for acting on independent sanctions?

Minister Kishida: Japan continues to gather and analyze information related to the situation in North Korea with serious interest. While I would like to refrain from discussing details, Japan intends to continue its efforts in information gathering and analysis, as well as surveillance and monitoring. Discussions are continuing in regard to UN Security Council’s response and independent sanctions by various countries. As to timing, Japan intends to identify the most effective timing while monitoring activities by other countries and other developments. Japan is determined to continue its efforts to send a strong message to North Korea.

Japan-Russia Situation

Reporter: I have a question about the Northern Territories held by Russia. Mr. Nobuo Kishi, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, made comments suggesting the possibility of an advance return of two islands in the context of finding a solution from a wide range of options without adhering to just the existing position of a return of the four islands at the same time. What is your view on this comment?

Minister Kishida: I think the comment by State Minister Kishi that you mentioned simply stated the obvious implication in general terms of discussing a wide range of options in negotiations with a discrepancy in stances. Japan has not in any way changed its fundamental policy. The fundamental stance that the four Northern Islands are an inherent part of the territory of Japan and Japan intends to resolve the issue with the four Northern Islands and conclude a peace treaty. This basic policy has not been changed at all.

Reporter: Is Japan sticking to its stance of a return of all four Islands at the same time?

Minister Kishida: I’m saying that Japan’s policy has not changed. I also view State Minister Kishi’s comment as stating something that is obvious in general terms.

Return by Two Members of the Nikai Faction to the LDP

Reporter: Mr. Toshihiro Nikai, Secretary General of the LDP, indicated that he plans to let Diet members Mr. Kotaro Nagasaki and Mr. Ryuji Koizumi return to the party for the next election of the members of the House of Representatives. What are your thoughts, as the chairman of the Kochi-kai faction, on this development, which is related to official approval for the next election of the members of the House of Representatives?

Minister Kishida: I think Secretary General Nikai is overseeing various discussions related to the handling of individual Diet members. However, I have not heard of any specific procedures or other issues and thus will continue to monitor the situation.