Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary Takeshi Osuga
Wednesday, December 12, 2018, 4:31 p.m.   Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

Opening Remarks

(1) Launch of the G20 Osaka Summit Official Website

Mr. Takeshi Osuga, Foreign Press Secretary: On December 12, the G20 Osaka Summit official website was launched to widely promote in Japan and abroad the significance and themes of the G20 Osaka Summit to be held in Osaka on June 28-29, 2019. The URL is https://www.g20.org/.

The website includes an address by Mr. Minister Abe, Prime Minister, as well as Summit-related information including the Summit outline, the schedule of summit meetings and ministerial meetings, and summit meeting location introductions.

Going forward, in addition to G20 Osaka Summit-related information, the website is planned to convey various information to promote understanding regarding the G20 Summit in general including the ministerial meetings, as well as the diverse charms of each host city.

(2) Prime Minister Khurelsukh of Mongolia to Visit Japan

Foreign Press Secretary Osuga: With a schedule from December 12-15, H.E. Mr. Ukhnaa Khurelsukh, Prime Minister of Mongolia is paying an Official Working Visit to Japan. Tomorrow, Prime Minister Abe is planned to hold a meeting with Prime Minister Khurelsukh.

In addition, during Prime Minister Khurelsukh’s visit, he is planning to attend an economics-related event as well as a meeting with Mr. Tadamori Oshima, Speaker of the House of Representatives and others. Furthermore, as his schedule for local regions, he is going to visit Hokkaido and is planning to meet with Ms. Harumi Takahashi, Governor of Hokkaido.

Besides this, Foreign Affairs Kono is scheduled to hold a working lunch tomorrow with H.E. Mr. Damdin Tsogtbaatar, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, who is accompanying Prime Minister Khurelsukh.

Through this visit to Japan, we hope further reinforcement of the Strategic Partnership with Mongolia as an important regional partner sharing the universal values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

Statements by Foreign Minister Kono in a Press Conference

Asahi Shimbun, Takeshita: I would like to ask about Prime Minister Kono’s statements at his press conference yesterday. When he was asked questions in relation to the Northern Territories by reporters, Minister Kono gave the response of not answering four times in a row. What is your reaction and opinion of this response?

Foreign Press Secretary Osuga: I would like to refrain from commenting from my position regarding particular responses at the press conference conducted by Minister Kono yesterday. If I were to say anything more, it is my understanding that when the organizer company of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kasumi Club requested Minister Kono to give sincere responses at press conferences last night, Minister Kono replied, “I solemnly accepted.”

Asahi Shimbun, Takeshita: As the background for Minister Kono’s statements yesterday, I believe that he has been refraining from commenting outside of negotiations with Russia citing the reason as concern that statements on the Government of Japan’s intentions and position would not contribute to the acceleration of negotiations. On the other hand, high officials from the Government of Russia have been making comments on Russia’s position one after the other. Is it correct to understand that there will be no change going forward to the policy of not commenting externally regarding the Government of Japan’s position and policy on negotiations?

Foreign Press Secretary Osuga: Yes, it is as stated. We are refraining from commenting regarding each statement by the Russian side through the media. As Minister Kono stated at the press conference yesterday, we would like to firmly arrange the environment for the negotiations.