Statement by Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi
on the Decision to Hold the Four-Party Plenary Talks

November 21, 1997

Japan welcomes the fact that agreement was reached at the third preparatory meeting for the Four-Party Talks held in New York on November 21 to begin the Four-Party Talks in Geneva on December 9, 1997.

The Four-Party Talks is an initiative of major significance for achieving peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and Japan has supported this proposal from the outset. Japan also has continued to urge North Korea to accept this proposal in order to realize this meeting at the earliest possible date.

Japan expects that the discussions which will take place at the Four-Party Talks will promote tension reduction and building confidence, leading to an agreement for lasting peace to replace the current armistice agreement. Japan intends to continue to make diplomatic efforts towards ensuring peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula, maintaining close communication with the Republic of Korea and the United States.

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