Press Conferences

Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister Taro Kono

Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 9:27 p.m. Yokohama

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

Opening Remarks

Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs: Today from 2:30 p.m. we held the TICAD7 Ministerial Preparatory Meeting and I served as co-chair with Foreign Minister Shoukry from Egypt. Together with many ministers, we exchanged views aiming for the success of TICAD7 starting tomorrow. Furthermore, in this Ministerial Preparatory Meeting we confirmed the contents of the “Yokohama Declaration 2019” and the “Yokohama Plan of Actions 2019” as outcome documents, and decided to present them to the Summit Meeting.

After that we held a Japan-Iran Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and I stated that I was pleased that high-level VIP visits are being actively conducted between Japan and Iran, and I welcomed the visit of Minister Zarif to Japan, which is already the second for him this year. In our meeting, we held an extremely candid exchange of views aimed at the easing of tensions and stabilization of the situation in the Middle East. Based on Japan’s position that we will consistently support the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), I once again called on Iran to comply with the JCPOA, to immediately return to the commitments under the JCPOA, and to refrain from taking measures that defeat the JCPOA. Furthermore, we agreed that Japan and Iran would continue to communicate closely toward the easing of tensions and stabilization of the situation in the region, and we exchanged our views on our bilateral relations and the regional situation as well.

In addition, from 7:30 p.m. today, I hosted a dinner to which I invited the foreign ministers and other ministers of the countries participating in TICAD7. At the dinner we had opportunities to have talks in a relaxed atmosphere, and meals using local food products and sake produced in Chigasaki, Kanagawa, were served in order to promote Japanese food culture to African countries. That is all from me.

Question-and-Answer Session

Reporter: Now that the ministerial meeting and dinner are over, may I ask about your feelings and comments towards the success of TICAD which will start tomorrow?

Minister Kono: At the dinner we were able to hold various exchanges in an extremely convivial atmosphere, and an extremely large number of leaders have gathered this time, so I expect that this will lead to solid outcomes. Furthermore, we will also hold special conferences on the Horn of Africa, the Sahel region and the Western Indian Ocean, so I hope we will be able to achieve frank exchanges of views.

Reporter: Regarding the meeting with Foreign Minister Zarif, was there any exchange of views concerning the coalition of the willing that the United States is aiming to form with respect to the Strait of Hormuz?

Minister Kono: In today’s Foreign Ministers’ Meeting we held extremely frank exchanges of views on a variety of topics, but this was done on the presupposition that the contents of our discussion remain private, so I will refrain from commenting any more than I have already mentioned.

Reporter: Regarding the coalition, can you tell us whether it was originally included in the agenda or was actually discussed in the meeting this time?

Minister Kono: I will refrain from commenting on the content of the meeting because it was done on the presupposition that the contents of our discussion remain private.

Reporter: The Iranian side is asking the United States to ease the sanctions, and has been saying for a long time that it wants every country to buy its oil. Did that subject come up in the meeting today?

Minister Kono: I will refrain from commenting on the contents of the meeting because we agreed to keep them private.

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