Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Tuesday, January 31, 2017, 8:43 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office
Japan-US Summit Meeting
Reporter: The Japan-US Summit Meeting has been officially set for February 10. I believe an explanation was given in the recent telephone talk between Prime Minster Abe and President Trump on the ways in which Japanese companies, including the auto industry, are contributing to the US economy. Do you expect expansion of US employment to be a specific topic of discussion in the Japan-US Summit Meeting? How do you think Japan will respond if this happens?
Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: This is a meeting at the summit level and it is therefore not appropriate for me to speculate on what might be discussed. As the first Summit Meeting since the President’s inauguration, I think it is important to firmly establish a relationship of trust. The primary theme is likely to be the demonstration of the robust nature of the Japan-US alliance to the world, particularly considering the environment in the Asia-Pacific region. In this context, I also expect discussion of the economic issue you mentioned and naturally discussion of ways to deepen the economic relationship between Japan and the United States. I think the question is the extent to which the specific issue you mentioned is covered. I would like to refrain from going into any more detail as it is a Summit Meeting.
Reporter: Will you attend the meeting itself?
Minister Kishida: Nothing has been decided yet. The Diet is currently in session and I expect the decision to take into account various circumstances.
Executive Order by the New Trump Administration
Reporter: The new Trump administration issued an executive order on measures to restrict immigration from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa, which is causing major repercussions worldwide. Japanese airlines are taking related measures. Are you aware of any impact on Japan? Also, there is a possibility that this will eventually have a major impact on Japan. How does Japan intend to deal with this situation?
Minister Kishida: Regarding the executive order you mentioned and what impact the executive order is having, these are in principle the domestic matters of the United States and I would like to refrain from making direct comments. That being said, issues related to refugees or terrorism are major global issues and we will continue to monitor the related developments.
As to responses by Japanese airlines, I understand that they are making decisions as private-sector companies to avoid any disruptions. You asked about the responses, but in principle I would like to refrain from making any direct comments given the perspective that I explained. We will continue to monitor the situation.
Reporter: The United States has emphasized diversity up to now, and many countries, including European countries, are concerned about this measure leading to xenophobic actions. What are your thoughts about the growing repercussions?
Minister Kishida: Issues related to refugees or terrorism are major issues shared across the international community, and the reality is that individual countries face different positions and conditions. In this context, Japan intends to continue to closely monitor these issues.