Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister Taro Kono
Saturday, October 20, 2018, 2:54 p.m. Copenhagen, Kingdom of Denmark
This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.
Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs: At the beginning of the P4G Summit,, I expressed appreciation for the international community’s support for the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement (CVID) of all weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and missiles of all ranges by North Korea and asked for the continued full implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. I then underscored that, based on the idea of our human security , Japan has been making efforts towards realizing a society in which “no one will be left behind,” since even before the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition, in order to close the funding gap for the achievement of the SDGs, I called on the international community to carry out a serious review of the mechanisms of innovative financing, including international solidarity levy. In the lead-up to next year’s SDGs summit, Japan will strengthen its cooperative relationship with P4G and accelerate concrete efforts towards the realization of the SDGs.
With regard to the Japan-Denmark relations, I paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Rasmussen of Denmark. We welcomed the continuation of the active reciprocal visits by each other’s dignitaries since the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Japan-Denmark diplomatic relations last year, including Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Denmark, the visit to Japan by Their Royal Highnesses the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark for the 150th anniversary, and the visit to Denmark by His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince of Japan. We also welcomed the steady deepening of cooperation under the two countries’ strategic partnership.
Furthermore, at the foreign ministers’ meeting with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, we confirmed the advancement of the bilateral relationship and cooperation in a variety of areas since last year, and that the two countries, as protectors of free trade, would work together towards the early entry into force of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). We also exchanged views regarding international situations, including North Korea. I will now take your questions.
Reporter: I first have a question regarding the P4G Summit. The focus of the P4G Summit was the SDGs. How does Japan intend to reflect the SDGs in the series of international meetings that Japan will be hosting, such as the G20 Summit and the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD)?
Minister Kono: The concept of the human security advocated by Japan and the “no one will be left behind” concept of the SDGs are highly compatible. Against this backdrop, today, I explained Japan’s initiatives and urged the international community to implement innovative financing in order to realize the SDGs. Japan will take steady steps to ensure the acceleration of concrete efforts for these objectives at next year’s G20 Summit and TICAD VII.
Reporter: I believe you spoke with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea (ROK) during the P4G Summit photo session a short while ago. What did you two discuss? Did topics such as international situations or the President’s visit to Japan come up in the discussion?
Minister Kono: I was able to have informal talks at various instances today with President Moon Jae-in and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha, primarily regarding the bilateral relationship. We discussed various aspects of the bilateral relations in detail. However, I would like to refrain from disclosing the details.
Reporter: So the discussion was basically about the bilateral relations than about international situations?
Minister Kono: Yes, we discussed various aspects of the bilateral relations.
Reporter: How about the President’s visit to Japan?
Minister Kono: That was not discussed.
Reporter: I would like to change the topic. I have a question regarding the murder of a journalist by the Government of Saudi Arabia. The Government of Saudi Arabia has acknowledged that a journalist who had been very critical of the Government of Saudi Arabia died at the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Turkey. The names of people involved in this case have been released, including the deputy head of the intelligence services. Can you once again share your comments in response to this unprecedented situation involving the killing of a journalist by the Government? Could you also tell us about Japan’s response?
Minister Kono: It is very regrettable that his death has been confirmed. Japan will continue to call for a thorough investigation as well as fair and transparent responses.
Reporter: Has Japan confirmed any information or talked with other countries such as the United States regarding this matter? Secretary Pompeo was in Turkey. Does Japan intend to hear any information from the United States?
Minister Kono: Since the investigation is still ongoing, Japan will confirm various information, once the timing is appropriate.
Reporter: The announcement by the Government of Saudi Arabia made no mention of the involvement of the leadership, including His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud who has been the focus of the investigation. What is your view of this fact?
Minister Kono: As the investigation is still being conducted, I would like to wait for the investigation to make progress. I hope that transparent responses will be taken.