Press Conference

Extra Press Conference by the Defense Minister Nakatani(11:50-11:54 A.M. November 3, 2015(Japan time))

Press Conference by the Defense Minister
Time & Date: 11:50-11:54 A.M. November 3, 2015(Japan time)
Place: In front of the Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur BILATERAL 2
(This is a provisional translation of an announcement by the Defense Minister and the Q&A session at the subsequent press conference for reference purposes only)
The original text is in Japanese.

1.Announcements
None.

2.Questions and Answers

Question:
Could you share with us the result of the meeting with New Zealand's counterpart?

Minister:
I had the meeting with Defence Minister Brownlee of New Zealand at Shangri-La in May, and this was the second times to talk with him. In the meeting, we exchanged opinions on the recognition of maritime security and regional security environment. The interaction between the two countries' defense officials is becoming active. For example, Secretary of Defence visited Japan. We agreed to have the defense cooperation and human exchange in the future. As for the issue concerning the South China Sea, I stated it is universally important matter that aiming at changing the status quo by force should be settled by peaceful means according to the rule of law in order to maintain peace and stability of the region. Defence Minister Brownlee responded that the superpower should behave as a responsible country. Therefore, we have reached an agreement regarding to the settlement of this issue. From now on, I hope to strengthen the defense cooperation and human exchange between the two countries, and further deepen the relation with New Zealand as a strategic and cooperative partner in Asia-Pacific region.

Question:
You have mentioned the South China Sea. Starting with the meeting with New Zealand counterpart, you are going to hold several bilateral meetings during the convention. One of the points is whether or not the meeting with Chinese counterpart will be held. Could you share with us on that point?

Minister:
It is currently being coordinated. However, it has not been determined.

Question:
Do you have intention to realize holding talks with China during the stay in Kuala Lumpur?

Minister:
I think it is very good opportunity and hope to have meeting with Chinese counterpart directly and exchange opinions. Since we hold consultations on the defense cooperation and the mechanism for risk management, I hope to talk with Chinese counterpart.

Question:
You said the meeting between Japan and China is under coordination. Do you think there are some obstacles that disturb the smooth coordination?

Minister:
As it involves the counterpart's own convenience, I believe they are considering various points.

Question:
You said New Zealand counterpart stated that concerning the South China Sea the superpower should behave as a responsible country. Do you think it made a distant allusion to China or both China and the United States?

Minister:
This was the remark that came up when I mentioned China. Although New Zealand regards trades and diplomatic relation with China as very important, it also hopes China to behave as a responsible superpower as I earlier stated since China is expanding its influence globally.

Question:
Was it you who posed the topic of South China Sea?

Minister:
Yes. As the counterpart asked me my recognition of China and the South China Sea, I explained my view to him. Then he gave me his view as a response.

Question:
Do you have intention to pose the topic of the South China Sea actively during bilateral talks?

Minister:
Needless to say, South China Sea is the sea lane for Japan. Moreover, freedom of navigation and flight over the high seas are shared ideas in this region. Thus, I believe it is important to ensure freedom of navigation and flight in this region.

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