Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Tuesday, May 30, 2017, 9:08 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office
Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi to Visit Japan
Reporter: Mr. Yang Jiechi, State Councilor of the People's Republic of China, is visiting Japan. I think you are scheduled to meet with him today. Please explain the outcomes you expect from the meeting, including with regard to applying pressure on North Korea as well as Japan-China relations.
Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: In my meeting with State Councilor Yang Jiechi I hope to engage in an open exchange of views about the issue of North Korea and Japan-China relations, as you mentioned.
China has a very important role in regard to the issue of North Korea as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, the chair country for the Six-Party Talks, and the source of 90% of trade with North Korea. As members of the Six-Party Talks, Japan and China share the common goal of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. I have participated in two Japan-China Foreign Ministers’ Meetings with Foreign Minister Wang Yi thus far in 2017 in February and April, and in those meetings I highlighted the importance of China’s role and urged China to play a more proactive role. I intend to make these points again in today’s meeting with State Councilor Yang Jiechi and, above all, I hope to confirm close cooperation between our two countries in dealing with the issue of North Korea.
With regard to Japan-China relations, we are marking major milestones with the 45th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China this year and the 40th anniversary of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and the People’s Republic of China next year. Japan intends to address any issues of concern in an appropriate manner, in accordance with the principle of the Mutually Beneficial Relationship Based on Common Strategic Interests and from a broad perspective, and to expand the positive aspects of our relationship as much as possible in order to stabilize our relations. Then, we hope to improve our relations through high-level dialogues. This is Japan’s view of the future path for Japan-China relations. I have discussed these points with Foreign Minister Wang Yi. In today’s meeting with State Councilor Yang Jiechi, I hope to share views on initiatives and efforts to improve Japan-China relations during this year and next year.
Reporter: Am I correct in assuming that you will ask State Councilor Yang Jiechi to increase pressure?
Minister Kishida: Japan believes that it is now important to apply pressure in cooperation with the international community. Japan and the United States are in agreement on this point. China’s role is very important to such efforts and we intend to call for China to play a firm role in this regard.
Dispatch of a joint public-private research team on joint economic activities
Reporter: The joint public and private research team on the joint economic activities in the Northern Territories is leaving for Sakhalin today. What types of results are you anticipating?
Minister Kishida: The research team of around 30 people headed by Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Eiichi Hasegawa will be departing for Sakhalin, as you mentioned. My understanding is that they will meet with the Governor of Sakhalin and other related parties. The team is aiming to conduct research on the four islands, by, as I mentioned previously, the latter half of June. I hope that they can engage in meaningful exchanges of views and research work in Sakhalin to make the field research in the four islands fruitful.