Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary Norio Maruyama
Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 4:41 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(1) Terrorist incident at a concert venue in Manchester, United Kingdom
Mr. Norio Maruyama, Foreign Press Secretary: Regarding the Terrorist incident at a concert venue in Manchester in the United Kingdom that occurred on May 23 (Japan time), the Japanese Government set up a local response headquarters at the Japanese Embassy in the United Kingdom immediately after the incident, and is collecting information and making utmost efforts to confirming the safety of Japanese nationals. At this point in time we have yet to come across any information indicating that Japanese nationals have been involved in the incident.
My understanding is that the UK public security authorities are currently investigating the background of the incident and other details. Such despicable acts of terrorism are absolutely unacceptable and Japan resolutely condemns this attack.
Japan is resolved to continue combating terrorism in cooperation with the United Kingdom and the rest of the international community.
(2) Japan to host the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) plenary meeting
Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: On June 1-2, the Government of Japan will host the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) plenary meeting in Tokyo. Mr. Kentaro Sonoura, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech, circumstances permitting.
Nuclear security, in other words measures to combat nuclear terrorism, is a shared global issue. This will be a plenary meeting of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism proposed by the United States and the Russian Federation. It will be attended by approximately 200 people from approximately 70 countries and 4 international organizations, in addition to the United States and Russia, who will jointly chair the meeting.
Japan aims to communicate to the international community its efforts related to the international community’s measures to combat nuclear terrorism, particularly in light of the hosting of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, and to raise awareness in Japan of the importance of nuclear security.
(3) Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Takisawa to visit Lithuania
Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: On May 24-26, Mr. Motome Takisawa, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, will visit Lithuania to attend the ASEM Conference on Women's Economic Empowerment, which is to be co-organized by 10 countries participating in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
Minister-level officials, including foreign ministers and ministers in charge of policies related to the empowerment of women, from Japan, Lithuania, and other ASEM countries will attend the meeting and give keynote speeches on policies related to the empowerment of women in their own countries. Furthermore, the event will feature speeches by and discussions among experts on policies for the empowerment of women from various countries. Ms. Asako Osaki, Visiting Professor at Kwansei Gakuin University specializing in gender studies, will participate from Japan.
Parliamentary Vice-Minister Takisawa is scheduled to visit Sugihara House in Kaunas and exchange views with city officials.
(4) Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Takei to attend a United Nations Security Council Open Debate
Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: On May 24-26, Mr. Shunsuke Takei, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, will visit New York.
Parliamentary Vice-Minister Takei will attend a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Open Debate in New York on the theme of “protection of civilians in armed conflict (healthcare in conflict)” and plans to deliver a statement on Japan’s proactive efforts and views relating to strengthening enforcement of and respect for international humanitarian laws.
Additionally, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Takei will hold a meeting with H.E. Mr. Rodolfo Gustavo Nin Novoa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, who will chair the UNSC Open Debate.
Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation
China Youth Daily, Zhang: I have a question about China-Japan relations. The Belt and Road summit recently took place in Beijing. Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party Toshihiro Nikai, who attended the meeting, took the opportunity to hold a meeting with President Xi Jinping. Mr. Nikai spoke positively after the meeting. What is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ view? Also, what major official exchanges will be taking place between the two countries in the second half of this year?
Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: I believe you are asking about the concept of the “One Belt, One Road” so I will start with an explanation of the Japanese Government’s view.
The Government has been paying attention to what it becomes in concrete terms, from the perspective of the sustainable development and stability of the region. In particular, Japan believes it is important that the various initiatives under the concept of the “One Belt, One Road” are promoted in an open manner, inclusive of all countries, and are of a high quality in accordance with international standards.
Regarding the latter question, Japan and China, as important neighbors for one another, should contribute to resolving global issues, as well as to regional peace and prosperity. From this perspective, Japan intends to promptly cooperate in areas where cooperation is possible.