Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary Norio Maruyama

Wednesday, August 2, 2017, 4:40 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

Opening Remarks

(1) Emergency Grant Aid to the Philippines in response to the evacuees from the armed conflict in Mindanao

Mr. Norio Maruyama, Foreign Press Secretary: On July 28, Japan extended Emergency Grant Aid of 2 million US dollars (approximately 220 million Japanese yen) through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as support for displaced people from the fighting in Marawi City on the island of Mindanao, Republic of the Philippines. Japan plans to swiftly implement relief operations in the sectors of food, health, water and sanitation.

The fighting erupted between a faction of the Islamic militants and the Philippine authorities in Marawi City on May 23. It has resulted in many deaths and injured people, as well as displaced people.
Japan understands that martial law was extended to December 31, 2017, and hopes that the situation will be brought under control soon.

(2) Marine monitoring project

Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: Japan has been implementing reactor decommissioning and contaminated water management measures at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in a manner that is transparent to the international community with the cooperation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). As part of this effort, Japan has conducted a project for marine monitoring with the IAEA since 2014 to maintain and improve the international transparency and credibility of its marine monitoring.

This project involves joint sampling of seawater and fish by the IAEA and Japan, and inter-laboratory comparisons of results regarding technologies for analyzing radiation in the samples.

On July 31, the IAEA disclosed a report that summarizes the inter-laboratory comparisons implemented six times in the past. It reports that the sample collection procedures are appropriate and a high level of accuracy and competence exists on the part of the related Japanese laboratories.

Comments by a US Senator

Yamamoto, NBC: Yesterday, Mr. Lindsey Graham, an influential member of the Armed Services Committee, appeared on one of our programs. Mr. Graham shared part of a conversation he had with President Trump and made the rather aggressive statement that war is inevitable if North Korea continues its development of intercontinental ballistic missiles. He also stated that if a war were to occur, the people who would suffer would be those living in Asia and not Americans on the US mainland. What is your reaction to these comments?

Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: Personally I am not aware of the comments. I would also like to refrain from speculating about future responses by the United States.

In any case, it is important to ensure the deterrence of the United States amid the increasingly severe security situation in the region. From this perspective, Japan highly values the stance of the Trump administration, which is exhibited through its words and actions, that all options are on the table. It is important that we enhance the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-US Alliance, and Japan will continue to promote Japan-US cooperation, including in security matters.

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