Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
Sunday, July 30, 2017, 12:59 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs: This morning, after receiving a briefing at the Ministry of Defense, I entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and received a report on North Korea-related developments between yesterday and this morning by official of MOFA. Specifically, I received a report on North Korea’s announcement, reactions of other countries, moves at the United Nations (UN), and amid that, the coordination between Japan and the United States and among Japan, the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK). I issued instructions on that basis.
Furthermore, I also carried out a preparatory meeting on diplomatic moves and efforts from the beginning of the week.
With regard to this launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)-grade missile by North Korea, a large number of countries including Australia, the United Kingdom, France and the European Union (EU), not just Japan, the United States and the ROK, are strongly condemning this launch. Amid the threat posed by North Korea has increased as a result of this second ICBM-grade missile launch this month, concern about the North Korea threat is further intensifying in the wider international community.
I intend to continue to coordinate closely with the United States, the ROK and other countries, concerned along with strengthening the gathering and analysis of related information and taking all possible measures. I intend to continue to respond with a high level of vigilance.
Reporter: President Trump said on Twitter that he was very disappointed with China. What are your thoughts on that?
Minister Kishida: I believe that it has been emphasized and agreed upon all along that encouragement by China is important in the Japan-U.S. summit meetings, and I also confirmed this point and agreed with Mr. Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of State of the United States, in the Japan-U.S. foreign ministers’ telephone talk with Mr. Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of State of the United States, yesterday. That is to say, China’s role is important. The comment by President Trump that you mentioned is consistent with the intent of these confirmations between Japan and the United States, I believe.
Reporter: Do you yourself, Minister, believe that China’s efforts to encourage North Korea thus far have been sufficient?
Minister Kishida: When it comes to evaluating whether China’s efforts have been sufficient or not, I think there are various ways of considering that, but there is no question that China’s role is important, I believe. Furthermore, based on the fact that China accounts for 90% of North Korea’s trade, is a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), and is chair of the Six-Party Talks, I think it is only natural that we must seek constructive action from China on resolving the issue of North Korea. We have been cooperating with the United States and other countries concerned on the basis of that idea, and we will continue to encourage China while coordinating with the international community.
Reporter: There have been telephone talks among the foreign ministers of Japan, the United States and the ROK, but do you think telephone talks among the countries’ leaders are necessary? Are telephone talks being coordinated?
Minister Kishida: Japan, the United States and the ROK have been communicating at various levels, including at the foreign minister level yesterday. That is only natural considering the importance of coordination among Japan, the United States and the ROK. After solidly confirming the specific exchanges, including the state of coordination up to now, we intend to undertake communication at the leader level as necessary. At present, no specific schedule has been decided.