Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary Norio Maruyama

Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 4:30 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

Opening Remarks

(1) Japan-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

Mr. Norio Maruyama, Foreign Press Secretary: In the evening on March 29, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, is going to hold the Ninth Japan-India Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue with Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs of India, who is currently visiting Japan.

During the meeting, the two ministers are expected to hold an exchange of views on initiatives to further strengthen the bilateral relations between Japan and India, as well as matters such as international issues and regional affairs.

It is hoped that this visit to Japan by India’s Minister of External Affairs will deepen the bond and cooperative relations between the two countries.

(2) New Member of the Experts Group of the 1540 Committee of the United Nations Security Council

Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: On April 1, Ms. Kiwako Tanaka, Senior Fellow at the National Institute for Defense Studies, becomes a member of the Experts Group of the 1540 Committee on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540.

Resolution 1540 is aimed at preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and delivery mechanisms to non-state actors, including terrorists. The Experts Group handles reviews of reports from United Nations member countries, responses to technical questions, implementation support, and other activities that promote the implementation of this resolution.

She is the first Japanesemember of this Experts Group.

Japan intends to continue initiatives aimed at strengthening the international non-proliferation regime through steady implementation of Resolution 1540.

(3) Japan’s Friendship Ties Program

Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: Many young people are currently visiting Japan as part of the Friendship Ties Program. This includes about 96 university and graduate students from the 10 ASEAN countries, India and East Timor under the JENESYS 2017 Program, 45 high school and university students and 4 young professionals from the United States under the Kakehashi Project, and 17 government officials and others from the Pacific Alliance Group under the JUNTOS!! Program. Participants will visit various regions and interact with a variety of people.

I hope that these young people, who represent the future, will interact with many Japanese people through these programs and actively communicate and share their experiences and Japan’s appeals with the people around them after returning home.

Japan’s North Korea Diplomacy

Asahi Shimbun, Itabashi: I have a question related to North Korea. There have been various media reports about Kim Jong-un’s visit to China. I am sure that various actions are being taken but could you please explain the outlook and other aspects of Japan’s North Korea diplomacy to the extent possible?

Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: While various developments are being witnessed, Japan believes it is important to continue to closely coordinate policy among Japan, the United States, and the Republic of Korea (ROK) ahead of the North-South Summit Meeting and United States-North Korea Summit Meeting.

In regard to North Korea, given various past experiences, Japan believes maintaining maximum pressure on North Korea is essential, to ensure that it abandons its nuclear and missile development programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. As I have mentioned earlier, what important is to make dialogue meaningful by eliciting concrete actions by North Korea through these two meetings Based on this, we would like to consider our future response from the standpoint of what would the most effective way to advance initiatives for the comprehensive resolution of North Korea’s nuclear, missile, and abductions issue through close coordination among Japan, the US and the ROK.

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