Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Tuesday, December 6, 2016, 8:55 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office
This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.
Adoption of the Resolution on the Nuclear Disarmament at the Plenary Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly
Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: Japan welcomes the adoption of its resolution on the elimination of nuclear weapons at the Plenary Meeting of the United Nations with an overwhelming majority of 167 countries in favor, including the United Sates, on the afternoon of December 5 (New York time). Adoption of the resolution with more support than last year, while tensions between nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states are growing, confirms that our resolution offers a realistic path to a world without nuclear weapons. We intend to continue our efforts for the realization of “a world without nuclear weapons as the only country to have suffered atomic bombings in war.
Visit by Prime Minister Abe to Hawaii
Reporter: Yesterday Prime Minister Abe officially announced his plan to visit Pearl Harbor. There has been talk that you will be going with him. Please confirm related facts and your thoughts on the significance of the visit.
Minister Kishida: Prime Minister Abe announced yesterday that he will hold a Japan-US Summit Meeting to sum up the Japan-US alliance built through the efforts of Prime Minister Abe and President Barack Obama over the past four years and that the two leaders will also visit Pearl Harbor. I expect this event to provide a valuable opportunity to clarify the strong Japan-US alliance and express the important role the US-Japan alliance has in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the international community. As to the purpose of the trip, it aims to offer our prayers for the repose of the souls of those who perished there and exhibit a strong resolve toward the future to never repeat the devastation of war again and also to demonstrate the strength of the Japan-US alliance. I plan to go as well.
Reporter: The President’s term is nearly finished. Is it meaningful to make this visit with President Obama?
Minister Kishida: As I just mentioned, the two leaders will hold a Summit Meeting to sum up the Japan-US alliance developed by them over the past four years. It has also been decided to visit Pearl Harbor.
Minister Kishida’s Visit to Russia
Reporter: I have a question about the relationship with Russia. You visited Russia and met with President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over the weekend. Also, letters were exchanged from Prime Minister Abe and President Putin. There is not much time left until the Japan-Russia Summit Meeting at this point. What types of discussions are you planning during the remaining period in order to make progress on the Northern Territories issue and what are your expectations for results ahead of the December 15 meeting?
Minister Kishida: On my visit to Russia, I expressed Japan’s view of what it thinks needs to be accomplished in order to make President Putin’s visit to Japan scheduled for December 15 meaningful, and we conducted an extensive exchange of views. I think it was a valuable visit ahead of the President’s visit to Japan. Japan must continue its efforts to prepare for President Putin’s visit. We intend to continue preparations at various levels right up until the meeting and aim to ensure that the visit is meaningful.
Visit by Prime Minister Abe to Hawaii
Reporter: Regarding the visit by Prime Minister Abe to Hawaii, you mentioned that you will accompany him. Are you planning some type of different itinerary than Prime Minister Abe on this visit? Please explain the meaning of your presence.
Minister Kishida: There will be a Japan-US Summit Meeting to sum up the past four years. I have served as Foreign Minister during these four years and am willing to accompany Prime Minister as well. Coordination of the specific schedule on the day still needs to be accomplished.
Reporter: What is your view of the connection between the visit to Hawaii and the President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima? Also, do you think Japan should apologize during the visit to Pearl Harbor?
Minister Kishida: First, there is no connection with President Obama’s trip to Hiroshima. As I just mentioned, this visit aims to offer our prayers for the repose of the souls of those who perished and express a strong resolve to never repeat the devastation of war and also to demonstrate reconciliation between Japan and the US.
Reporter: Regarding the Japan-US relationship, Prime Minister Abe gave a speech to the US Congress on the anniversary of 70 years since the war ended last year. President Obama visited Hiroshima, and this time Prime Minister Abe is going to Pearl Harbor. These events highlight reconciliation between Japan and the United States. What is your overall view and sentiment about the Japan-US relationship during last year and this year?
Minister Kishida: I think these various events demonstrate the Japan-US alliance has become unshakable in the 71 years since the war ended. I also believe that they have clarified to the international community that the Japan-US alliance is very important in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the world.
Reporter: Prime Minister Abe expressed deep remorse and deep repentance in his speech to the US Congress. Does he plan to express deep remorse or apologize on this visit?
Minister Kishida: As I just noted, this is an opportunity to offer our prayers for the repose of the souls of those who perished there, exhibit a strong resolve to never repeat the devastation of war, and to demonstrate reconciliation between Japan and the US.