Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary Takeshi Osuga
Wednesday, May 8, 2019, 4:37 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(1) G20 Osaka Summit Social Media Project
Mr. Takeshi Osuga, Foreign Press Secretary: As part of the public relations effort leading up to the G20 Osaka Summit, we have decided to create videos introducing 19 countries—the G20 members excluding Japan—and the European Union (EU), with the cooperation of foreign embassies in Tokyo. Specifically, members of embassies in Tokyo will appear and introduce the actual cuisine and so on of their countries and conclude with a brief message for the G20 Summit.
The first video was posted today on the G20 Osaka Summit official Facebook and Twitter accounts. Cultural Section Chief Babino of Argentina, the previous holder of the G20 presidency, introduces a typical Argentinian lunch menu. A number of photos have also been posted on the official Instagram account. We plan to make posts sequentially at a pace of three to four times a week in the lead-up to the Summit.
(2) TICAD7 Official Twitter Account
Foreign Press Secretary Osuga: For the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), a major international conference that Japan will host this year following the G20 Osaka Summit, an official Twitter account was created at the end of February, which has been actively disseminating Africa-related information, including the visit to Africa by Minister for Foreign Affairs Kono last week. In addition, in mid-April, we began posting “Topics of African Countries” and “Short Inspirational Stories and Episodes” on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
(3) Creation of “MOFA/ODA Public Relations” Twitter Account
Foreign Press Secretary Osuga: MOFA has been engaged in various public relations efforts directed at the public concerning Japan’s official development assistance (ODA), and we have just created a “MOFA/ODA Public Relations” account on Twitter. Together with “ODA-man,” we aim to disseminate information with a sense of humor, in order to deepen awareness of those who are unfamiliar with ODA or those who do not have much interest in ODA regarding how Japan’s ODA contributes to the world and Japan.
MOFA will continue to make further efforts for policy-related public relations while using social media and other tools.
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Possibility of Countermeasures by the Government of Iran)
Kyodo News, Eto: Minister of Foreign Affairs Zarif of Iran has stated that it has decided to suspend a number of commitments carried out in accordance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It is regarded that Iran intends to resume some of the nuclear-related activities which had been suspended under the JCPOA. Does the Government of Japan have an intention to urge Iran to exercise any self-restraint? Could you please share your comments?
Foreign Press Secretary Osuga: As we have stated repeatedly, the Government of Japan has consistently supported the JCPOA, which contributes to the strengthening of the international non-proliferation regime and peace and stability of the Middle East region. At the same time, we consider that Iran’s constructive role is essential for the stabilization of the Middle East region. The Government of Japan intends to contribute to peace and stability in the region by leveraging the traditionally friendly relations between Japan and Iran. The Government of Japan will continue to strive to resolve the issue through dialogue.
Kyodo News, Eto: Is it correct to understand that the objective of resolving the issue through dialogue is self-restraint?
Foreign Press Secretary Osuga: We have conducted frank exchanges of views with Iran regarding the regional situation, including the JCPOA. I would like to refrain from disclosing the details of diplomatic discussions.
Taiwan’s Participation as Observer in the World Health Assembly
Central News Agency, Yang: This year, the World Health Assembly will be convened from May 20. Although Taiwan has aimed to participate as an observer, it has not received an invitation from the World Health Organization (WHO), even after the deadline for the online registration procedure has passed. What is the Government of Japan’s opinion regarding this situation in which Taiwan has not been invited to the World Health Assembly for three consecutive years?
Foreign Press Secretary Osuga: The Government of Japan has consistently supported Taiwan’s participation as an observer in the World Health Assembly. We are aware that, prior to the last three years that you mentioned, Taiwan had participated as an observer for eight consecutive years from 2009 to 2016. With the advances in globalization and the movement of people becoming more active, the Government of Japan views that it is vital to strengthen the worldwide response to public health crises. The Government considers that it is desirable for Taiwan to participate in the World Health Assembly in some manner in order to prevent a geographical void in the response to infectious diseases and other international health issues.