Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Friday, April 7, 2017, 8:40 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office
(1) G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I will visit Lucca, Italy and attend the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting from April 9 to 12, circumstances in the Diet permitting.
At this meeting, I hope to hold a frank exchange of views on issues confronting the global community, such as terrorism and violent extremism, and North Korea, as well as on regional situations, and confirm G7 cooperation as leaders of the international order.
I intend to actively participate in discussions and contribute to the success of the G7 Lucca Foreign Ministers’ Meeting as the previous chair and the longest-serving Foreign Minister among the G7 countries.
I will also use this opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with the Foreign Ministers of the United States, the European Union, Italy, Germany, and other countries.
(2) Opening of Japan House São Paulo
Minister Kishida: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will hold an opening ceremony for the first Japan House, one of Japan’s new overseas communication hubs, with the participation of Japanese and Brazilian dignitaries on April 30. We hope to utilize this facility to effectively disseminate information about Japan.
US-China Summit Meeting
Reporter: The US-China Summit Meeting has started. I believe how to approach North Korea has been the subject of much attention. Could you once again explain what specific points Japan is paying attention to and what type of approach you think is needed?
Minister Kishida: In principle, I would like to refrain from commenting on interactions between other countries. However, I believe that sincere and constructive exchanges of views between the United States and China on matters of interest, including the issue of North Korea, contributes to the peace and stability of the international community. In that sense, Japan is paying attention to the outcome of the meeting with great interest.
Reporter: I think a strong response to North Korea is necessary. What are your thoughts on this point?
Minister Kishida: Japan has exchanged views on the issue of North Korea with the United States at a variety of levels. In these discussions, the United States has expressed the importance of China’s role. In this context, Japan will be paying close attention to the discussions between the United States and China.
Reporter: I have a question about Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) relations. Although Mr. Yasumasa Nagamine, Japan’s Ambassador to the ROK has returned to the ROK, he still has not managed to meet with Acting ROK President Hwang Kyo-ahn. There are reports of reluctance from the ROK authorities. What is your view of the situation?
Minister Kishida: I am aware of the related media reports. Arrangements for a courtesy call by Ambassador Nagamine on Acting President Hwang are currently being made. Although various things are being reported, Ambassador Nagamine also made a courtesy call on former ROK President Park Geun-hye, previously. In light of this and other factors, Japan will continue to make arrangements.
Reporter: Does this mean that a meeting will indeed be held?
Minister Kishida: We are making arrangements to hold the meeting. Coordination between our two countries is currently taking place.
Extension of Sanctions against North Korea
Reporter: The Cabinet approved a bill for the extension of Japan’s independent sanctions against North Korea for a period of two years. Please explain the situation and significance of this action.
Minister Kishida: Regarding Japan’s sanctions against North Korea, at today’s Cabinet meeting, the Cabinet approved a two-year extension of the ban on the entry in Japan of all North Korean flag vessels, all vessels that have previously called at ports in North Korea, and vessels subject to the United Nations Security Council resolution sanctions, as well as the ban on exports and imports with North Korea, which were set to expire on April 13.
The Japanese Government will implement these measures thoroughly and exert its utmost efforts towards comprehensively resolving the outstanding issues of concern, including the abductions, nuclear, and missile issues, based on the principles of “dialogue and pressure” and “action for action.”