Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 9:42 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office
Japan-US Summit Meeting
Reporter: Some media reports suggest that February 10 is being discussed for a Japan-US Summit Meeting. Could you please comment on the state of arrangements? Also, US President Donald Trump stated that he has officially terminated the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and it is anticipated that the United States will be applying pressure on automobile and other areas. Please explain how the Government plans to respond to protectionist policies.
Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: Regarding a Japan-US Summit Meeting, we are continuing to coordinate the schedule with the goal of holding a meeting as soon as possible. However, unlike what is being suggested by the media, the schedule has not been decided yet. We are still making arrangements.
Reporter: President Trump signed an executive order and then stated at a subsequent meeting that he has officially terminated TPP. Please explain your reaction and the Government’s response.
Minister Kishida: I am aware of the domestic procedures that the United States has carried out. I think it is necessary to continue to monitor actions and responses that the United States takes externally. I believe the United States understands the importance of free trade based on free and fair rules, and it has clearly benefited greatly in the postwar years from free trade. It is important for Japan and the United States to continue efforts to enhance our mutual understanding.
Japan-Australia Summit Telephone Talk
Reporter: Australia and New Zealand appear to be interested in the entry into force of TPP with the 11 countries without the United States. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a telephone talk with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia, yesterday. My first question is whether the discussion addressed this point. In addition, could you also explain the Japanese Government’s view of the entry into force of TPP among 11 countries?
Minister Kishida: I have been informed that the two leaders shared views on the importance of free trade in the Japan-Australia Summit Telephone Talk. Regarding the possibility of TPP without the United States, I think it is important for the TPP signatory countries to continue to share views with each other and work together closely. Nothing has been decided beyond this.
Reporter: Does this mean that Japan is not ruling out the entry into force of TPP among 11 countries?
Minister Kishida: I think it is important for the signatory countries to continue to enhance mutual understanding and work together closely. That is all.