Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu
Friday, October 9, 2020, 8:00 p.m. Mongolia
Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs: Good evening, everyone. In Mongolia, the second Khurelsukh administration was inaugurated this July. Soon thereafter, starting from today, I am visiting Mongolia, an important strategic partner.
Today, I paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Khurelsukh immediately upon my arrival. It was a meaningful courtesy call conducted in a very relaxing atmosphere. I am grateful to the Prime Minister for welcoming me despite his busy schedule right before the nationwide local elections on the 15th of this month. Afterwards, I held a meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs Enkhtaivan. Minister Enkhtaivan and I reached an agreement on newly formulating a Mid-term Action Plan for a Strategic Partnership in 2022, looking ahead to that year’s 50th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations.
We also exchanged views regarding regional situations and reaffirmed our intention to continue cooperating on responses to North Korea, including the abductions issue. In addition, we just signed an exchange of notes for a 25 billion yen emergency support loan to provide supports to Mongolia, which has been economically impacted by the novel coronavirus.
After this press conference, I will have a working dinner with Minister Enkhtaivan. In the dinner, I hope to continue to exchange views regarding regional situations, cooperation in the international arena, among other matters. Tomorrow, I am scheduled to pay a courtesy call on President Battulga.
It was extremely meaningful that the two countries, not long after the inauguration of their new administrations, was able to reaffirm their intention to further strengthen the Japan-Mongolia “Strategic Partnership” and jointly promote efforts for the realization of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” (FOIP). Japan will continue to work closely with Mongolia to further deepen the bilateral “Strategic Partnership.” That is all from me.
Reporter: I have a question concerning relations with North Korea. As Mongolia has diplomatic relations with North Korea, I believe Mongolia is an important country also from the perspective of the abductions issue. Could you share with us the details of the discussion regarding the abductions issue?
Minister MOTEGI: At the foreign ministers’ meeting, I provided our assessment of the current situation surrounding North Korea and stressed the importance of fully implementing relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions toward the realization of the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement (CVID) of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges by North Korea. Minister Enkhtaivan and I shared the view on this point. In addition, the abductions issue is an urgent issue. Mongolia has thus far offered its cooperation in a variety of forms. I obtained Mongolia’s continued understanding and support for the early resolution of this issue. We affirmed that the two countries will continue to coordinate closely on this issue.
Reporter: Could you tell us what discussion took place regarding FOIP? Did Mongolia express its support? Did it express any concerns over the situations surrounding the South and East China Seas?
Minister MOTEGI: Japan and Mongolia, which share common universal values, including freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, have cooperated closely on FOIP as important strategic partners.
Japan recognizes that Mongolia fulfills an important role in promoting and consolidating the rule of law in this region toward the realization of FOIP, which I conveyed to Mongolia.
At my courtesy call on the Prime Minister and my meeting with the Foreign Minister, we shared expectations that the New Ulaanbaatar International Airport will enhance regional connectivity in the “sky” as a new symbol of bilateral cooperation. Also, we discussed cooperation toward the opening and operation of the airport.
Mongolia fully endorses FOIP, and the two countries will continue to collaborate closely on this initiative.
Reporter: Going back to the earlier question, did Mongolia express any concerns over the situations surrounding the South and East China Seas?
Minister MOTEGI: As I just stated, we held a thorough discussion regarding regional situations. I conveyed the position of Japan. We intend to coordinate with Mongolia. As this concerns diplomatic discussions, I would like to refrain from disclosing the details.
Minister MOTEGI: While it is regrettable that Mr. MURAKAMI Haruki did not win, on the other hand it is wonderful that the World Food Programme (WFP) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Japan will continue to further strengthen its cooperation with the WFP.