Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu
Wednesday, January 8, 2020, 11:04 a.m. Bangkok, Thailand
Reporter: Iran has made a retaliatory attack on the United States. Please share your thoughts and the policy of the Japanese Government.
Minister MOTEGI: We are currently engaged in information collection and analysis. We will exert every effort to protect Japanese nationals. Such efforts have already begun. The Government of Japan has urged all parties to make utmost diplomatic efforts to ease tensions. It is deeply regrettable that this recent attack nevertheless took place. Any further escalation of the situation must be avoided. The Government of Japan will continue to closely monitor the situation in the Middle East with a high level of vigilance. Japan will continue to engage in diplomatic efforts towards the easing of tensions in the Middle East and the stabilization of the situation, while working together with the relevant countries. Various circumstances permitting, I intend to visit the United States next week and engage in consultations on this matter.
Reporter: I have a related question. It is possible that Secretary Pompeo may be attending congressional hearings and would be unable to hold talks with you. In that case, what would the itinerary of your visit entail?
Minister MOTEGI: That is a hypothetical situation.
Reporter: What approaches will Japan make to the Iranian side?
Minister MOTEGI: We have called for all the relevant countries to exercise restraint and we will continue to do so.
Reporter: It has been suggested that the Prime Minister’s visit to the Middle East may be delayed. What is the current state of arrangements?
Minister MOTEGI: It is difficult for me to answer that while being away from Japan.