Press Conferences

Press Conference by Deputy Press Secretary OHTAKA Masato

Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 4:37 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

Opening remarks

(1) Reception Co-hosted by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture

Mr. Masato Ohtaka, Deputy Press Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: On March 23, a reception co-hosted by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture will be held at Iikura House.

This reception is a program for promoting the various charms of local municipalities while utilizing Iikura House as a venue, as one step in regional revitalization. It will be held for the 10th time this time.

This time the reception will convey the appeal of Yamaguchi to the diplomatic corps and foreign chambers of commerce stationed in Tokyo as well as the tourism industry, by promoting the prefecture’s tourism, cuisine, traditional crafts and traditional performing arts.

(2) Creation of the “Golgo 13 Overseas Safety Manual for Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises”

Deputy Press Secretary Ohtaka: From 5:40 p.m. today, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida will receive a courtesy call from Mr. Takao Saito, creator of the Golgo 13 manga series, and the “Golgo 13 Overseas Safety Manual for Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises” will be made public.

The details will be explained at this public release later, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly hopes that this manual will encourage those working for small- and medium-sized enterprises nationwide to take an interest in overseas safety measures.

This project incorporates the relevant departments’ substantial desire to somehow bring about further improvements in safety in the wake of the Dhaka incident, so please view our seconding of Golgo 13 as the outcome of that. In that respect, the most important point will be to make this manual well known far and wide and in every corner of the country, and I by all means hope you will all cooperate in that regard.

Missile launch by North Korea

Sakamoto, NHK: There was a report that North Korea launched a missile this morning and failed. What has the Government confirmed?

Deputy Press Secretary Ohtaka: Developments relating to North Korea’s ballistic missiles are naturally a matter of very great interest to the Government, and it is constantly striving to gather and analyze information. On the other hand, given the nature of the matter I would like to refrain from commenting on the content and analysis of separate, specific information.

Speaking on that basis, no missiles and other projectiles have been confirmed as having approached Japan this time, meaning we are not aware of a situation occurring that had a direct impact on Japan’s security.

Press conference by the Press Secretary and Deputy Press Secretary, MOFA

Gezi, Asahi Shimbun: Could you please explain what your aim was in planning this Deputy Press Secretary press conference, rather than taking a break when the Press Secretary is not present?

Deputy Press Secretary Ohtaka: As you might expect, we believe it is important to do all things regularly. We do not know what needs there are on each occasion, but if the press conferences are held regularly, in some respects it might also make it easier for you to perform your various jobs easily, and where we are concerned also, we can engage in our work with that as a premise. Consequently I think it is probably advantageous in a lot of ways.

Support for regional revitalization: Promotional program utilizing Iikura House

Hatano, The Nikkei: My question concerns the reception using Iikura House that you introduced at the beginning. Could you please discuss what prefectures and cities have been covered thus far, and when these receptions began being held? Also, I understand they have been held previously for Wakayama and other areas, but what order are they being held in?

Deputy Press Secretary Ohtaka: To state the related facts, please view this program as having commenced from 2015. As I mentioned, this will be the 10th time. To begin with the program commenced from Kyoto City in 2015, and in 2015 receptions were held with five cities and prefectures – Kyoto City, Fukushima Prefecture, Hiroshima Prefecture and Hiroshima City, Mie Prefecture and Aomori Prefecture.

In 2016 receptions were held for Kagawa Prefecture, Ibaraki Prefecture and Wakayama Prefecture, and in 2017, a reception was recently held for Saga Prefecture. The latest reception will be the 10th. Naturally we have various things to consider with these receptions, but essentially we receive a variety of initiatives from the local municipalities, so please think of them as being steadily planned and implemented by us on that basis. I am sure you can understand that from the standpoints of the prefectures and cities I just mentioned, they are significant in various ways.

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