Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary Takeshi Osuga
Wednesday, October 31, 2018, 5:00 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(1) Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) to Visit Japan
Mr. Takeshi Osuga, Foreign Press Secretary: From October 29 to November 2, Mrs. Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), is scheduled to visit Japan at the invitation of the Government of Japan.
This is the first official visit in about nine years by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR, since the visit of Chief Executive Donald Tsang in 2009.
In addition to participating in the Think Global, Think Hong Kong symposium organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council on November 1, by her departure on November 2, Chief Executive Lam will also meet with Foreign Minister Kono, confirm the importance of Japan-Hong Kong relations, and have an exchange of views regarding further strengthening relations in extensive areas including the economy and culture.
Hong Kong has been the largest importer of Japanese agriculture, forestry, and fishery products for 13 years since 2005, and is the 8th largest investment partner to Japan in the world, and the 2nd largest in Asia. In addition, Hong Kong has the world’s largest number of tourists to Japan as a percentage of its population, with the highest number ever of tourists recorded last year at 2.23 million people, and is thus an extremely important partner for Japan.
Through this visit, there are expectations for advancement of further mutual cooperation in various fields, including the economy, tourism, and culture.
(2) Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation Brantley of St. Christopher and Nevis to Visit Japan
Foreign Press Secretary Osuga: From November 1 to7, the Hon. Mark Anthony Graham Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation of St. Christopher and Nevis, is planning to visit Japan. During his visit, Foreign Minister Kono is planned to host a dinner for Foreign Minister Brantley.
St. Christopher and Nevis is an island country with a population of 55,000 people, and is the smallest country in the Americas in terms of population and land mass. However, it is an important partner for Japan and shares fundamental values including freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. In addition, it is a member country of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), an important regional group in the international community. At the dinner hosted by Foreign Minister Kono, it is planned to have an exchange of views regarding not only bilateral relations and Japan-CARICOM relations, but also cooperation in the international arena including United Nations Security Council reform and the North Korean issue.
Through the opportunity of this visit, there are expectations for further reinforcing our mutual relations.
(3) Foreign Minister of Montenegro to Visit Japan
Foreign Press Secretary Osuga: From October 31 to November 5, H.E. Dr. Srđan Darmanović, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro is visiting Japan at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On November 1, Foreign Minister Kono is scheduled to host a dinner for Foreign Minister Darmanović.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2006, the Japan-Montenegro relations have been steadily advancing. This time, Foreign Minister Darmanović has advancing the bilateral relations in politics and the economy in mind in particular, and an exchange of views is planned with government and finance officials and others.
Through this visit, there are expectations for further enhancing the amicable relations between Japan and Montenegro.
(4) President of the Federated States of Micronesia to Visit Japan
Foreign Press Secretary Osuga: From October 31 to November 6, H.E. Peter Martin Christian, President of the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Hon. Lorin S. Robert, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Federated States of Micronesia, are visiting Japan. During their stay, the Embassy of Micronesia in Tokyo is scheduled to hold a reception commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the Japan-Micronesia Diplomatic Relations and the 32nd Anniversary of the National day of the Federated States of Micronesia as a sovereign state. The friendly relations between Japan and Micronesia, which have a historically deep connection, are increasingly strengthening.
Through the visit by the President and the accompanying delegation from the Government of Micronesia, there are expectations that the friendly relations between Japan and Micronesia will be even further strengthened.
(5) 21st Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) Director-General Level Talks
Foreign Press Secretary Osuga: Today, October 31, the 21st Japan-ROK Director-General Level Talks were held in Tokyo. Participants from the Japan side included Ambassador Hideo Suzuki, Director-General for Global Issues, and other Ministry officials, and participants from the ROK side included Director-General for Overseas Koreans and Consular Affairs Woo In-shik of the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other officials concerned.
During the Talks, there were exchanges of views regarding matters including protection of citizens when they are overseas and visa-related policies, and continued close cooperation between both countries was confirmed in the consular field.
The next Talks will be held in Seoul. The specific schedule will be coordinated in future through the diplomatic route.
(6) Start of the Twitter Account and Facebook Account for Chefs for Ambassadors and Consul-Generals of Japan
Foreign Press Secretary Osuga: The activities of chefs for ambassadors and consul-generals of Japan have been introduced on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website since 2012, and on October 23 a Twitter account and Facebook account were launched for this communication. The account names are “Ministry of Foreign Affairs x Chefs for Ambassadors and Consul-Generals of Japan” for both the Twitter and Facebook account.
These chefs not only support the diplomatic activities of ambassadors and consul-generals at diplomatic missions around the world through their cooking, but are also irreplaceable employees who conduct diplomatic activities on the ground such as actively conveying the charms of Japanese food culture in foreign nations. The spotlight should be further shone on these many men and women who normally work behind the scenes, so this will be conveyed even more actively through social media.
In particular, we will be dedicated to sharing about young chefs to raise interest and get more followers. By sharing about these chefs who conduct activities on the forefront of diplomacy, we expect to raise awareness of the occupation of being a chef for ambassadors and consul-generals and increase the number of young people who aim to work abroad.
In addition, we would also be pleased if this effort help ordinary citizens drumming up further interest in our international diplomatic activities using food as an opening.
The Twitter account currently has 7,181 followers.
Judicial Rulings in Violation of International Law
Kyodo News, Fukuda: I would like to ask a general question. If there is a judicial ruling by a certain country in violation of international law, what would be needed to correct the situation? Would there be a need for a retraction of the ruling?
Foreign Press Secretary Osuga: That is a question that is not easy to answer in general. Countries have different situations with the separation of powers set forth in their constitutions. Although Japan has separation of powers, some countries do not have separation of judicial, executive, and legislative branches. There is no general rule.
The Supreme Court of the ROK’s Judgment in Regard to a Japanese Company
Kyodo News, Eto: I would like to ask a question about the case regarding the “requisitioned civilian workers” from the ROK. I believe that you are currently at the stage of requesting the ROK side to appropriately respond, and I assume you will enter negotiations regarding the Agreement on the Settlement of Problems concerning Property and Claims and on Economic Co-operation between Japan and the ROK. Are you ascertaining the negotiations depending on the response of the ROK side and the timing?
Foreign Press Secretary Osuga: Firstly, I would like to refrain from answering speculative questions. In terms of ascertaining the kind of response the Government of the ROK will take, if it does not quickly take appropriate measures, as stated yesterday, we will set our sights on other options such as an international trial and take measures for a firm response. I would like to refrain from speaking about the specific content to avoid revealing our strategy.
Kyodo News, Eto: The Governments of Japan and the ROK are conducting coordination for a visit to Japan by President Moon Jae-in within the year. Will this issue affect the schedule of his visit?
Foreign Press Secretary Osuga: Firstly, nothing has been decided regarding the visit to Japan by President Moon. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Joint Declaration on “A New Japan-Republic of Korea Partnership towards the Twenty-first Century,” and details have been agreed upon regarding strengthening cooperation for building the future-oriented relations at various levels, including the summit and foreign minister levels. Amidst this, Japan will strongly request the Government of the ROK to take appropriate measures regarding the recent decision by the ROK Supreme Court, including a correction of its violation of international law, and will first ascertain what response the Government of the ROK will take to this.
Kyodo News, Fukuda: You just stated that you have your sights on options such as an international trial. There is an item regarding handling disputes before an international trial in Article III of the Agreement on the Settlement of Problems concerning Property and Claims and on Economic Co-operation between Japan and the Republic of Korea. I think that in general this process would be considered, but is there a possibility of jumping to an international trial?
Foreign Press Secretary Osuga: There are various options, including an international trial. I would like to refrain from speaking about the specific content to avoid revealing our strategy.