Press Conference by Foreign Minister Taro Kono
Tuesday, August 29, 2017, 11:16 a.m. /mofaj/press/kaiken/kaiken4_000558.html
Japan-US Foreign Ministers’ Telephone Talk
Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I just held a telephone talk from 9 am for about 20 minutes with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of the United States.
Following analysis of the situation, we exchanged views on a joint request by Japan, the United States, and the Republic of Korea (ROK) for an emergency meeting of the United Nations (UN) Security Council which procedures are already taking place in New York.
Additionally, we shared the view that we will continue to put pressure on North Korea in a variety of ways. Japan and the United States will continue to work closely together.
Japan-ROK and Japan-China Foreign Ministers’ Telephone Talks
Reporter: Do you plan to conduct a telephone talk with Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha of the ROK and others?
Minister Kono: The timing and other aspects are currently being arranged.
Reporter: Are you also arranging a Japan-China telephone talk with Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi of China?
Minister Kono: We will first hold a telephone talk with the ROK and then make other decisions.
Speech by High School Peace Ambassador at the UN Conference on Disarmament
Reporter: High school students had been giving official speeches at the UN Conference on Disarmament held in Geneva in previous years. Please explain the background to the change to an unofficial status this time. Also, some people have expressed disappointment. What is your view of this reaction?
Minister Kono: Every year one person from the pool of high school student peace ambassadors was registered with the government delegation and delivered a speech at the Conference on Disarmament. Some countries had voiced opposition to this in past years, and the opinion was quite strong this year.
The Conference on Disarmament operates on a consensus basis so it was unfortunately necessary to abandon the speech because of the clear indication of dissent to Japan making this type of registration. Instead, the Delegation of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament invited high school students as well as delegates from other countries with positions for and against the legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, from among the nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states, to listen to speeches by the high school students and then share opinions. Japan’s high school peace ambassadors learned that various countries have different positions and ideas. Also, the previous format only allowed one person to join the government delegation, while the others listened from the gallery. This time, however, all of the high school students participated in interactive discussions. In this sense I understand it was a very good opportunity.
While difficult issues still remain regarding what should be done in the future, at the very least I believe that the Delegation of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament performed well by arranging a very good opportunity that involved direct exchanges of views among the high school students and delegates of various countries, including those with different opinions, and deepened mutual understanding of respective views.
Japan-US Foreign Ministers’ Telephone Talk
Reporter: Could you explain what was discussed with Secretary Tillerson in the telephone talk to the extent that you can?
Minister Kono: I would like to refrain from discussing the specific content.
Sanction Resolutions by the UN Security Council
Reporter: Please explain your thoughts once again about the current situation in which North Korea continues to launch missiles even though the UN Security Council has already adopted various sanction resolutions.
Minister Kono: If UN Security Council resolutions are strictly implemented, funds allocated by North Korea to develop nuclear weapons and missiles would be stopped. The previous resolution targeted at least more than one billion dollars. It is important to carry through with these measures. Given the latest situation, meanwhile, Japan, the United States, and the ROK will closely collaborate in considering what further responses should be taken.
Reporter: Does placing a variety of pressures on North Korea mean additional sanctions? Is that what you are imagining?
Minister Kono: We will put various measures on the table, including additional sanctions, for discussion.