Press Conference by Foreign Minister Taro Kono
Tuesday, September 5, 2017, 10:22 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office
Participation in the Eastern Economic Forum and Telephone Talk with the Foreign Minister of Uruguay
Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs: From tomorrow I will accompany the Prime Minister to the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.
This morning, commencing at 9 a.m. for approximately 15 minutes, I held a telephone talk with the Minister of Foreign Relations of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay. We exchanged various views towards the adoption of a new resolution at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
In Relation to the Emergency Meeting of the UNSC
Reporter: Are you scheduled to hold telephone talks today, following this?
Minister Kono: We are currently arranging telephone talks with the permanent and non-permanent members of the UNSC.
Reporter: Late yesterday Japan time, there was an emergency meeting of the UNSC in connection with the North Korea’s nuclear test. The United States-side explained that it intends to make a submission on September 11 that will include strong sanctions, but at the same time I think the responses from China and Russia will likely be the focal point. To begin with, what was your view of the meeting?
Minister Kono: I think it is said that a strong message should be delivered to North Korea at the meeting. Because a new resolution will be submitted by the United States, I believe various adjustments will take place with the goal of having that resolution adopted in New York.
Reporter: Given that China and Russia are not loosening the stances they have been taking up to now, I assume that an embargo on petroleum and other measures will become a focal point from here on, but in light of the Government of Japan’s position of seeking strong sanctions, how does the Government intend to encourage and urge China and Russia accompanying the resolution being drawn up and submitted on September 11?
Minister Kono: Currently, various adjustments are taking place at the moment in New York also, and I am also currently proposing telephone talks to the foreign ministers of UNSC member countries, and so I hope to exchange various opinions in those talks too.
Reporter: Will petroleum naturally be included in the content?
Minister Kono: The content is currently under adjustment at the UN, so I would like to refrain from commenting.
Reporter: Prior to Sunday’s nuclear test I believe you mentioned restrictions on migrant workers. However, based on the nuclear test that was subsequently conducted, are you considering stronger sanctions than you were then?
Minister Kono: Work on adjusting the content of the new resolution is now underway, so I would like to refrain from commenting.
Reporter: While there is no particular ban on North Korea importing petroleum from outside sources as yet, in order to deliver a stronger blow to North Korea, should sanctions begin by blocking crude oil, or should sanctions proceed steadily ahead from the things that it is possible to limit?
Minister Kono: Work on adjusting the content of the new resolution has already begun now at the UN, so I would like to refrain from commenting on the content.
Reporter: I was asking about the content of sanctions that will deliver a blow to North Korea in general, not only about the resolution.
Minister Kono: The discussion on the resolution has already started, so I will refrain from commenting.
Reporter: Will you be holding telephone talks with all the members of the UNSC from here on?
Minister Kono: Adjustments are currently taking place with several countries.
Reporter: Amid the ongoing sanctions, are there any indications of dialogue? Are there any such views, or signs, or indications in the international community?
Minister Kono: If North Korea makes it clear that it intends to denuclearize and takes concrete actions, I think naturally there will be dialogue.
Reporter: President Trump wrote on Twitter that the United States is considering stopping trade with any country doing business with North Korea, but does Japan share this idea?
Minister Kono: I am not certain what President Trump was trying to say on Twitter, so I am unable to comment at present.