Press Conference by Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu
Friday, February 28, 2020, 2:02 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Japan-China Relations (Visit to Japan by Member of the Central Politburo of the Communist Party of China Yang Jiechi)
NHK, YAMAMOTO: What is the status of coordination for the meeting with Member of the Central Politburo of the Communist Party of China Yang Jiechi, and what is your outlook on the themes that would be discussed if a meeting is held?
Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I am scheduled to hold a meeting with Dr. Yang this afternoon, probably about one hour from now. I would like to hold an exchange of views with Dr. Yang regarding matters including the prevention of the spread of the novel coronavirus as well as cooperation toward the visit to Japan by President Xi Jinping.
Novel Coronavirus (Restrictions on Entry Into Various Countries for Arrivals from Japan)
NHK, WATANABE: I would like to ask about the novel coronavirus. There is currently a spread of restrictions including restriction on entry into various countries by Japanese citizens holding Japanese passports. Can you please tell us how many countries have such restrictions at present? Also, I registered with Tabi-Regi. Yesterday I received information about a case of Japanese people aboard a cruise ship not being allowed to disembark in Oman. Considering such cases of Japanese people not being allowed to enter various countries, can you please tell us what the Government of Japan is considering to respond to such cases abroad, including countermeasures?
Minister MOTEGI: Firstly, it is my understanding that there are no countries that are only restricting entry from Japan or implementing temporary monitoring of just people from Japan. Additionally, as of February 27, MOFA has confirmed that the authorities of 11 countries including Micronesia, Samoa, Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Solomon Islands, Comoros, Israel, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Mongolia are implementing measures such as restriction on immigration from countries and regions where cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed, including Japan.
In addition, you mentioned Oman, and it is my understanding that 15 countries and regions including Kazakhstan, Liberia, Kerala State in India, Thailand, and Oman are implementing medical examination measures and monitoring measures, including at the time of immigration and afterwards, for countries and regions where cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed, including Japan.
The information known about immigration restriction measures and restrictions on mobility following immigration on travelers to such countries are published on MOFA’s Overseas Safety Website and other sources. We are issuing alerts widely.
In addition, in regard to particular cases, we are providing necessary support at local embassies and other locations after grasping what support is needed for each situation.
Also, I believe that it is extremely important for us to communicate accurate information in a timely, appropriate manner regarding the situation in Japan and our initiatives to the international community, including such countries and regions. We will continue to convey information within and outside Japan.
Position of the Government of Japan on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference
Kyodo News, WATARAI: I would like to ask about the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). In March, 50 years will have passed since the NPT entered into force, but nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states currently hold opposing views. The Government of Japan has taken the position of calling for gradual reduction of nuclear weapons until now. What position will the Government take during the NPT Review Conference starting in April?
Minister MOTEGI: The NPT is the cornerstone of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation framework, and Japan places importance on maintaining and strengthening the NPT framework. As you pointed out, we see a major difference among the positions concerning the approach to nuclear disarmament between countries. Amidst this, I believe that it is important to increase momentum toward the 2020 NPT Review Conference by persistently continuing efforts to discover specific measures that can be a common foundation on which various countries can work on.
Specifically, several initiatives are being conducted from that perspective. At the United Nations General Assembly in 2019, Japan submitted a resolution with an appeal about the importance of the immediate actions that various countries should take together on nuclear disarmament, and the resolution was adopted with the support of 160 countries, including the United Kingdom and France, which are nuclear-weapon states. In addition, in October 2019, the “Chair’s Report” summarizing the meeting discussions thus far was submitted from the Group of Eminent Persons for Substantive Advancement of Nuclear Disarmament, which is organized by Japan. Furthermore, during the G20 Aichi-Nagoya Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in November 2019, I held and served as co-chair for the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) with the participation of 12 countries. The NPDI Joint Ministerial Statement was issued at the meeting to demonstrate determination toward the 2020 NPT Review Conference.
Through such initiatives that I just mentioned and other efforts, Japan will continue to actively contribute to international discussions so that the 2020 NPT Review Conference will achieve significant results.