Tuesday, June 19, 2012 (PM)
Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)
- The Japan-Russia Summit Meeting which was held on the occasion of the G20 Los Cabos Summit
REPORTER: The Japan-Russia Summit Meeting was held today. It appears that Japan and Russia have agreed to reinvigorate discussions on the Northern Territories. How does the Government take this decision?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Agreement was reached between both heads of state on reinvigorating negotiations on the Northern Territories issue - that is, they would order their respective diplomatic authorities to undertake substantive discussions in a clam environment. Moreover, it appears that the wording was such that these discussions would take place in early summer if possible so as to also discuss advancing bilateral relations across a wide array of areas, including the Northern Territories issue. It is my understanding that the Prime Minister indicated that arrangements would be made to dispatch Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba to Moscow. This Japan-Russia Summit Meeting was the first time that the two heads of state met, and I hear that their initial communications were started in a very congenial setting.
REPORTER: On a related note, before the summit consideration was paid to dispatching former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori. Now that it was announced that Minister Gemba would be officially dispatched, will former Prime Minister Mori still be dispatched?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Former Prime Minister Mori currently serves as the head of the non-partisan Japan-Russia Parliamentary Friendship Association, and has been greatly involved in the advancement of Japan-Russia relations until now. Considering this history of his activities, it is not the case that we no longer have various expectations for former Prime Minster Mori after the Japan-Russia Summit Meeting today. While no final decisions have been made, discussions are ongoing about details such as the timing and method for his dispatch.