Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary Norio Maruyama
Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 4:35 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
North Korea Situation
Kobayashi, NHK: Today media sources are reporting that Kim Jong-nam of North Korea might have been murdered. Please explain the information that the Government has confirmed on this matter and your thoughts about implications for situations in the international community and security if it is true. There are also reports that the two women, thought to have been agents, died. Please indicate whether the Government has any information on this point.
Mr. Norio Maruyama, Foreign Press Secretary: We are aware of the media reports. The Government gathers and analyzes information in collaboration with related countries. However, I would like to refrain from speaking about the content and analysis of specific information due to the nature of this matter.
While the Japanese Government works to gather information on activities involving North Korea with keen interest on a regular basis, I would like to refrain from commenting in any more detail than this because of the nature of the topic.
Kobayashi, NHK: The Government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) has announced that it appears to be true that Kim Jong-nam has been murdered. What is the Japanese Government’s understanding of the truth of this matter?
Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: Malaysian authorities have not made a clear statement yet, and we will continue to gather and analyze information in collaboration with related countries.
Odanaka, Mainichi Shimbun: North Korea recently launched a ballistic missile, and February 16 is an anniversary day for the birthday of former General Secretary Kim Jong-il. Please explain the current state of the Government’s readiness toward such developments.
Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: At the current time, I would like to refrain from making speculative comments. We continue to collaborate closely with related countries and are putting our fullest efforts into information gathering and surveillance and monitoring activities to ensure that we can respond to any situation.
G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
Odanaka, Mainichi Shimbun: You just mentioned collaboration with related countries. Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is scheduled to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bonn, Germany from tomorrow. Please explain if you have any information on a plan to hold a Japan-US-ROK Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting at that venue and coordination of a bilateral meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi who is also attending the G20 Meeting.
Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: Regarding Minister Kishida’s attendance at the G20 and visit to Germany, it has been decided that he will hold bilateral meetings to exchange views with Italy and Russia and Ms. Cecilia Malmstrom, European Commissioner for Trade. Other meetings are still being coordinated, and nothing has been decided yet.