Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu
Friday, November 15, 2019, 4:40 p.m. Central Entrance Hall, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs: Today, I confirmed that the Japanese man in his 40s, who had been detained in Beijing since September this year, has returned back to Japan. I have heard that he does not have any health issues. With regards to this issue, I had strongly requested Vice President Wang Qishan, as well as Prime Minister Abe had strongly requested Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, for the Chinese side to take a positive response, which led to the man’s release. I would like to confirm the details with him and others, but firstly I believe it is good that he returned back to Japan safely.
Reporter: You mentioned that his health condition is good, but what is his current status now?
Minister MOTEGI: I believe he got off the plane, although I was in the Diet and do not know about his current condition, and believe that he is probably meeting with his family in a quiet environment.
Reporter: I believe that there are people who are being detained besides this case. Can you please tell us the reason why this case saw an early release?
Minister MOTEGI: There are certainly different circumstances for each case of detainment. Regarding this case, Japan and China will be having high level exchanges going forward, and as we have in mind President Xi Jinping’s visit to Japan as State Guest next spring, we would like to welcome his visit in a good atmosphere of advancing various exchanges. In such an atmosphere, as part of firmly handling each pending issue, this issue was something that Prime Minister Abe and myself had been strongly requesting to the Chinese side, and thus the release was realized.
Reporter: What explanation did China give to Japan, such as the reason for detaining the man who was released this time?
Minister MOTEGI: There are various information, but I would like to refrain from commenting due to the nature of the matter.
Reporter: You cannot even announce whether or not there was an explanation.
Minister MOTEGI: Yes.