Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary Norio Maruyama

Wednesday, August 30, 2017, 4:36 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

Opening Remarks

(1) The Attacks in Northern Areas of Rakhine State in Myanmar and the Release of the Final Report by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State

Mr. Norio Maruyama, Foreign Press Secretary: Japan strongly condemns the attacks carried out against the Myanmar security forces in northern areas of Rakhine State in Myanmar since August 25 as utterly unacceptable and expresses its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. Japan strongly expects that, with the restoration of local security, the protection of civilian populations and humanitarian access will be assured as soon as possible.

Japan will support the efforts by the Myanmar Government to implement the recommendations for realizing peace and stability in Rakhine State presented in the Final Report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State led by former United Nations Secretary-General Dr. Kofi Annan.

(2) Attendance by State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nakane at the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the Forum for East Asia - Latin America Cooperation

Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kazuyuki Nakane will visit Busan, Republic of Korea (ROK) from today to August 31 to attend the 8th Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the Forum for East Asia - Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC).

FEALAC has 36 participating countries from Asia as well as Latin America, and is the only inter-regional forum linking the two regions. It aims to promote friendly cooperation among member countries. Sixteen countries participate from the Asia-Pacific region, which are Japan, China, ROK, Mongolia, ASEAN member states, Australia, and New Zealand.

State Minister and Parliamentary Vice-Minister-level officials have attended the foreign ministers’ meeting from Japan in past years and State Minister Nakane will attend as a government delegate this time as well.

(3) Visit to Sri Lanka by Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Iwao Horii

Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Iwao Horii will visit Sri Lanka from August 30 to September 2.

In Sri Lanka, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Horii will attend the Indian Ocean Conference 2017, an international conference organized by the India Foundation, a major Indian think tank, and others, and hold meetings with Sri Lankan government officials and others.

The Conference aims to hold discussions among major Indian Ocean countries and maritime partners about security and various issues related to development with an overarching theme of “Peace, Progress, and Prosperity.”<

(4) “Central Asia plus Japan” Dialogue - Tenth Tokyo Dialogue

Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: The “Central Asia plus Japan” Dialogue - Tenth Tokyo Dialogue will take place tomorrow, August 31. At this tenth meeting, the theme will be the “Current State of the Relationship Between Japan and Central Asia and the Outlook.”

The Tokyo Dialogue takes place as part of the “Central Asia plus Japan” Dialogue, a framework that promotes cooperation between Japan and five Central Asian countries. It utilizes a public symposium format with participation by intellectuals and experts. Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Manabu Horii will deliver the keynote speech at the meeting.

Visit to Japan by Prime Minister May of the United Kingdom

Sakamaki, mlex: Prime Minister May of the United Kingdom (UK) is visiting Japan from today. Please explain what the Japanese Government wants to accomplish from this visit. Particularly in economic matters, the Japanese economic and business communities have voiced concerns ahead of the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU). What is Japan hoping for in this area?

Furthermore, with the UK’s exit from the EU, Japan and the UK are at the stage of consideration of Japan-UK EPA. Please clarify this issue as well.

Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: This is Prime Minister May’s first time visiting Japan since becoming Prime Minister. In terms of summit meetings, this will be the fourth meeting between the two leaders following their meeting at the G20 Hamburg Summit in July. At the upcoming meeting, Japan hopes to further elevate Japan-UK cooperation in three areas in particular and confirm the direction of strategic cooperation for realizing these aims.

The three areas are security, economic partnership, and global prosperity and growth. Particularly in the area of security, the two countries will discuss a variety of issues, including cooperation to ensure free and open Indian and Pacific Oceans, from the standpoint of security and defense cooperation. They are also expected to confirm their shared views and collaboration on the North Korean issue, East China Sea, and South China Sea.

Regarding economic affairs mentioned in your question, I believe Japan will be requesting the UK side to minimize the impact on companies, in light of concerns expressed by Japanese companies, and to ensure transparency and predictability to this end. With regard to the Japan-EU EPA, Japan will request the UK’s cooperation for its early signing and entry into force.

In the area of the economic relations between Japan and the UK, the two countries are expected to discuss cooperation toward strengthening their economic relations after the Brexit when the UK departs from the EU as you noted.

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