Press Conferences

Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida

Monday, March 6, 2017, 9:55 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office

This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.


Reporter: Minister, there are reports that North Korea launched projectiles this morning. How is this action being analyzed?

Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: At around 7:34 a.m. today, four ballistic missiles were launched from the west coast of North Korea. They flew approximately 1,000 kilometers, and three of them landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). We are continuing to analyze the details. North Korea’s nuclear tests and its repeated ballistic missile launches represent a new level of threat. They are also actions that are clear provocations to the security of the regional and international communities, including Japan, and are totally unacceptable. In particular, we view the fact that the missiles came down inside Japan’s EEZ as a direct and grave threat to Japan’s security. We recognize that these ballistic missile launches by North Korea, including the latest launches, are violations of a series of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, including UNSC Resolution 2321, which was adopted in November last year, and the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration, and are also against the spirit of the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. We have already lodged a strong protest against North Korea through the embassy route, along with condemning North Korea’s action in the strongest terms. On top of that, I have also issued three instructions. The first is that Japan coordinates closely with the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK), including on information sharing, and accelerates security cooperation between Japan and the United States, and Japan, the United States and the ROK. The second is that Japan firmly requests the countries concerned, including China, to comply fully with the relevant UNSC resolutions, including UNSC Resolution 2321. And the third is that Japan undertakes lobbying to ensure a powerful message is issued by the UNSC. I am already in contact with the United States and the ROK in this regard. These are the three instructions I issued. That is all from me.

Reporter: This action by North Korea took place in the midst of joint military exercises being carried out by the United States and the ROK. What are your views in regards to this?

Minister Kishida: I would like to refrain from commenting in any way on what North Korea’s intentions are with provocations such as this from my standpoint. However, I intend to work diligently to gather various information and make efforts to evaluate the situation.

Reporter: The fact is that after the U.S.-ROK joint military exercise began, North Korea issued a comment in the Rodong Sinmun in which it hinted it would launch a new type of missile. What is your analysis of these missiles that were launched?

Minister Kishida: To begin with, I will refrain from commenting on North Korea’s intentions. With regard to information gathering and analysis, as I mentioned earlier I am currently making solid efforts while coordinating with the countries concerned also. And in terms of commenting in some way on this information analysis, I must refrain from doing so due to the nature of this matter. In any event, I am making solid efforts to gather and analyze information, and believe that the Government must be fully prepared to deal with all potential circumstances.

Reporter: I have one more question regarding the UNSC. You mentioned that you are already in contact with the United States and the ROK, but do you mean that Japan will seek to convene an emergency session of the UNSC?

Minister Kishida: I have begun contacting the countries concerned from the point of view of what must be done specifically in order for the UNSC to issue a powerful message. I by all means intend to coordinate firmly with them to ensure a message is issued in a concrete format. Given that there are other parties involved, at this stage I would like to refrain from commenting conclusively about what the outcome will be.

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