Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 8:50 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office
Authorization of New task for Self-Defense Forces in South Sudan
Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: At the Cabinet meeting held today (November 15), the Cabinet decided to authorize a new task for Self-Defense Forces dispatched to South Sudan, to protect, under certain conditions, individuals affiliated to UN operations etc., based on their urgent request This new task is also very important from the standpoint of protecting Japanese nationals there.
While Japan is aware of the extremely challenging security situation in South Sudan, conditions in the capital city of Juba, where the Self-Defense Forces are deployed, are relatively calm at this point.
The United Nations today (Japan time) released its Report of the Secretary-General regarding conditions in South Sudan. The “security situation” section in the report does not fundamentally differ from our view. Although the “observation and recommendations” portion that covers the Secretary-General’s opinion contains different language, upon seeking confirmation of the aim and intent of these comments, the United Nations explained that the language is to indicate that the situation could worsen, unless the United Nations Security Council takes action and that in those areas besides Juba, particularly in the western and northern areas, the situation has worsened recently, while Juba is relatively stable.
In any case, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to gather information on the local situation with a sense of vigilance.
Japan-ROK General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA)
Reporter: I have a question about the Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) General Security of Military Information Agreement provisionally signed yesterday. Please explain the significance and also Japan’s response to concerns about whether an official version will be signed in light ofthe conditions on the ROK side.
Minister Kishida: Japan and the ROK held consultations regarding the conclusion of a Japan-ROK GSOMIA in Tokyo on November 14. Based on the consultations, the two sides reached an agreement in principle and signed provisionally. Cooperation between Japan and the ROK is very important in terms of responding to North Korea’s nuclear and missile issues, and other matters. The Government hopes to promote further cooperation between Japan and the ROK in the security field, including the early signing of the GSOMIA. Japan intends to continue efforts for the signing as early as possible.
Reinstatement of Diet Member Nagasaki to the LDP
Reporter: Mr. Toshihiro Nikai, Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), told the chairman of a prefectural branch of the party last week that the party will move forward with procedures for Mr. Kotaro Nagasaki to return to the party. I believe that to date procedures for reinstatement have been taking place by obtaining local consent. Do you believe that is the case currently? There is also talk of a meeting with Secretary-General Nikai. What would be your message in such a meeting?
Minister Kishida: I think the local party branch is still discussing this matter. I am considering and make arrangements for a meeting with Secretary-General Nikai.