Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary Norio Maruyama
Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 4:32 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(1) Messages of Condolences from Foreign Minister Kono to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan Regarding the Earthquake in Eastern Taiwan
Mr. Norio Maruyama, Foreign Press Secretary: Foreign Minister Taro Kono sent the following message of condolence to Foreign Minister David Tawei Lee of Taiwan, regarding the magnitude 6.4 earthquake the epicenter of which was in eastern Taiwan on the morning of February 7, around 12:50 a.m. (Japan time).
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the major earthquake that recently struck eastern Taiwan, causing substantial damage.
I offer my sincere prayers for those who lost their lives, and extend my heartfelt condolences to those affected.
Japan stands ready to provide any necessary assistance to Taiwan at this difficult time.”
(2) Northern Territories Issue
Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: Today, February 7, is Northern Territories Day. Coinciding with this day, the “2018 National Rally to Demand the Return of the Northern Territories” took place today in Tokyo and Prime Minister Abe, Foreign Minister Kono, and Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs Esaki attended. Additionally, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nakane attended the Nemuro District Residents’ Rally for Northern Territories Day and Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Horii attended the Northern Territories Festival in Sapporo on February 7. They once again expressed the Japanese Government’s determination to resolve the Northern Territories issue.
On February 6, Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Mori and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Morgulov of Russia held a Japan-Russia vice-ministerial meeting in Tokyo. At the meeting, they discussed various matters, including the issue of concluding a peace treaty, over a total of roughly five hours.
The Japanese Government will continue to engage in persistent negotiations with a fundamental policy of resolving the issue of the attribution of the Four Northern Islands and concluding a peace treaty.
(3) Conclusion of the Implementation Duration of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START)
Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: Yesterday I issued a Press Secretary Statement on this matter.
On February 5, the U.S. and Russia respectively released a statement on the conclusion of the implementation duration regarding the central limits of the “Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (The New START Treaty).”
The Treaty represents important progress on nuclear disarmament by the U.S. and Russia. Japan welcomes engagement on nuclear disarmament by both countries.
On this occasion, Japan strongly expects further advancement of global nuclear disarmament with the participation of the U.S. and Russia as well as other nuclear-weapon states.