Press Conference by Deputy Press Secretary Toshihide Ando
Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 4:31 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Participation by a Taiwanese Observer at the World Health Organization (WHO) Assembly
Central News Agency, Huang: This year’s WHO World Health Assembly will be held from May 21. Taiwan had aimed to participate as an observer, but the WHO did not send an invitation to Taiwan again just as last year. What is the Japanese Government’s view on this matter?
Mr. Toshihide Ando, Deputy Press Secretary: Japan has consistently supported Taiwan’s participation as an observer at the WHO World Health Assembly. Japan is also aware that Taiwan participated as an observer for eight consecutive years during 2009-16.
In today’s world of a growing number of global issues accompanied by the growth of internationalization, Japan believes it is vital to strengthen the worldwide response to public health crises.
This year is the 15th year since the outbreak of SARS in Taiwan. Japan thinks it is preferable for Taiwan to participate in the WHO World Health Assembly in some way to prevent a geographical blank in the response to infectious diseases and other international health issues.
North Korean Situation
Mainichi Shimbun, Tanabe: North Korea says that it is suspending inter-Korean ministerial talks and suggests that it might abandon the U.S.-North Korea Summit Meeting. What is Japan’s reaction to these comments?
Deputy Press Secretary Ando: I would like to refrain from commenting on each statement and action by North Korea. Japan is constantly gathering and analyzing information on the moves of North Korea with grave interest and will continue to monitor the situation closely.
From the standpoint that it is essential for North Korea to take concrete actions for the dismantlement of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner, Japan strongly hopes that the upcoming U.S.-North Korea Summit Meeting will be an opportunity for progress in nuclear, missile, and most importantly abduction issues. Japan are going to advance the preparations with the U.S. while clearly communicating its views to the U.S.