Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister Taro Kono

Wednesday, November 29, 2017, 8:40 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Prime Minister’s Office

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

Opening Remarks

(1) Presidency of the United Nations Security Council

Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs: Japan will assume presidency of the United Nations Security Council in December, and this will also be Japan’s final month as a Security Council member. We would like to use this opportunity for a discussion of the North Korea issue. I also intend to participate as the President of the Security Council.

(2) Visit to Okinawa Prefecture

Minister Kono: I am going to visit Okinawa Prefecture from December 1st to 2nd.

I thought I would visit Okinawa as soon as possible after becoming Foreign Minister. I intend to have various exchanges of opinions with local people including Mr. Takeshi Onaga, Governor of Okinawa Prefecture. I also hope to have a meeting with Lt. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson, Okinawa Area Coordinator of the U.S. Forces, Japan. The detailed scheduled is currently being coordinated.

Missile Launch by North Korea

Reporter: Regarding the missile launch by North Korea, can you explain the situation of arrangement of telephone talks?

Minister Kono: Telephone talks will take place if necessary.

Reporter: This launch occurred following the re-designation by the United States of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. What do you think is the aim of this launch?

Minister Kono: I believe that North Korea had been preparing for a launch over the past two months, including various engine tests. This makes it clear that North Korea does not have any intention of exhibiting self-control.

Statement by Secretary of State Tillerson

Reporter: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a statement that mentioned convening a meeting of the United Nations Command Sending States together with Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK). Are you aware of this information?

Minister Kono: Canada had originally called for a meeting in December, but Japan and the United States asked Canada to adjust the timing because of their desire to discuss this issue when Japan assumes the presidency of the Security Council. While Canada is not using the term “United Nations Command,” I suppose these initiatives overlapped.

Reporter: What is the timing and location?

Minister Kono: That will be coordinated.

Presidency of the United Nations Security Council

Reporter: As for the Japan’s presidency of the Security Council, when do you plan to visit?

Minister Kono: That will be coordinated.

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