Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida

Friday, April 21, 2017, 8:47 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office

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

Opening Remarks

(1) Visa relaxation for Chinese citizens

Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: Japan is relaxing rules on various visas with the aim of further promoting the increase of tourists from China, and will begin accepting applications on May 8 (Monday).

The specific measures are as follows: (1) relaxing economic requirements for multiple-entry visas, (2) expanding the type of visa currently applied for visitors to the three prefectures in the Tohoku region by adding three prefectures (Aomori, Akita and Yamagata), (3) issuing multiple-entry visas to Chinese people who reside outside of China, and (4) relaxing requirements for single-entry visas.

(2) Meeting of Japan-US-ROK Leading Officials to the Six-Party Talks

Minister Kishida: A meeting of Japan-US-ROK leading officials to the Six-Party Talks will take place in Tokyo on April 25. Discussions will cover recent conditions in North Korea and collaboration among Japan, the US, and the ROK.

Release of the UNSC Press Statement

Reporter: The United Nations Security Council released a statement that strongly criticized the missile launched by North Korea on April 16. Please explain your assessment and response to the statement.

Minister Kishida: The UNSC issued a press statement early in the morning on April 21 Japan time (in the afternoon on April 20 New York time) that strongly criticizes the ballistic missile launch on April 16 and calls for immediate suspension of further actions that violate UNSC resolutions by North Korea and total compliance with UNSC resolutions. Japan welcomes this statement.

Reporter: Regarding the statement release, Russia opposed to the initial US-proposed draft and the text was revised. The Man Gyong Bong 92 is scheduled to travel to Russia next month. These moves suggest that Russia might be a leak in the encirclement of North Korea. What are your thoughts?

Minister Kishida: I would like to refrain from making any comments on the interactions that led to the release of the UNSC press statement. What I would like to say is that Japan welcomes the statement’s release.

As to the Man Gyong Bong 92 and other matters, while I would like to refrain from discussing activities of the third-party country, Japan hopes that Russia will act as a responsible UNSC member. We would like to ask Russia to take responsible behavior as a country on the Security Council in dealing with this case.

Shooting Incident in Paris

Reporter: Police officers were shot in Paris, France. The Islamic State issued a statement taking responsibility. Please explain your reaction and whether you have any information about Japanese victims.

Minister Kishida: I am aware that a shooting incident occurred on the Champs-Élysées in Paris on the night of April 20 local time, and that it resulted in death and injuries. French authorities are currently investigating this incident. I am also aware that President Francois Hollande mentioned the possibility of terrorism. Terrorism is unacceptable for any reason and Japan intends to actively take steps to strengthen measures against terrorism while working with the international community, including France.

I have not received any information about injuries to Japanese people.

Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nakagawa

Reporter: Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshinao Nakagawa resigned because of a problem involving a woman. As chairman of the party’s prefectural organization, have you received a report from Mr. Nakagawa? Do you think this incident should lead to his resignation from the Diet too?

Minister Kishida: I have not received any direct contact from Mr. Nakagawa in my capacity as chairman of the party’s Hiroshima prefectural organization. While I am aware of the issue from media reports, I think the first step is for him to make a decision himself. I will be paying attention to what happens.

Visit to Yasukuni Shrine

Reporter: Yasukuni’s Annual Spring Festival begins today. You have avoided visits up to now. Will anything change in your stance this year?

Minister Kishida: I will respond appropriately as the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Abe Cabinet.

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