News / Asia

Q&A: Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is interviewed by VOA in Tokyo, February 27, 2013.Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is interviewed by VOA in Tokyo, February 27, 2013.
x
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is interviewed by VOA in Tokyo, February 27, 2013.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is interviewed by VOA in Tokyo, February 27, 2013.
Transcript: VOA's Steve Herman sat down with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to discuss regional territorial disputes and other issues. (The following questions were asked in English; answers are translated from Japanese.)
 
VOA: Mr. Foreign Minister, members of this Abe administration and some of your own diplomats have, in the past, expressed a desire for Japan to pursue a foreign policy more independent of Washington. How is it possible to do this while, at the same time, having a closer defense alliance with the United States as both Washington and Tokyo seem to desire?
 
Kishida: First of all, in terms of our countries' diplomacy, the U.S.-Japan alliance is the cornerstone. That is what our country has decided on its own in implementing such policies. Strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance is not only important Japan but to all of East Asia and the Asia-Pacific regions because it leads to regional peace and stability. This was affirmed at the recent Japan-U.S. summit. Our country, at the same time, has to make efforts to strengthen our defense capabilities, including increasing our defense expenditures as well as reviewing our defense program guidelines. Based on the U.S.-Japan alliance we have to strengthen our deterrence. We will place the emphasis on our partnership with the United States.
 
VOA: Related to that, are you satisfied with the level of support that you're getting from Washington related to the [Senkaku/Diaoyu] island territorial dispute as you confront Chinese vessels and aircraft?
 
Kishida: Based on the understanding of the United States vis-a-vis Japan's stance on the Senkaku islands, we highly value the U.S. position — its commitment to our alliance. Such understanding and support of the United States was affirmed at the recent Japan-U.S. summit, as well as in the meeting between the U.S. and Japan foreign ministers. All of this is important in light of the escalation of Chinese actions and behavior.
 
VOA: North Korea remains defiant with a recent nuclear test, and the December missile launch, despite sanctions already being in place. What further sanctions do you intend to put in place against Pyongyang?
 
Kishida: First of all, North Korea conducted a nuclear test and such an action is a threat to international peace and stability and we cannot accept such an action. In response to this, the international community needs to work together. This was confirmed at the recent Japan-U.S. summit, [and in] my meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State. We also need to have the United Nations Security Council adopt a resolution [of] increasingly strengthened sanctions against North Korea. To achieve that the United States and Japan should work closely with related countries in order to counter North Korea. However, at the same time, we need to deal with North Korea [with] a balance between dialog and pressure. Based upon the [2002] Pyongyang declaration between Japan and North Korea, we need to firmly and strongly continue to ask North Korea for a comprehensive resolution to the nuclear issues, the missiles and the abductions [of Japanese citizens].
 
VOA: You are planning to go to Africa next month. Can you tell us which countries you are going to and what is the goal of the trip?
 
Kishida: As for Africa next month, I am planning to visit Ethiopia. That is because we're planning to hold the TICAD-5 (Tokyo International Conference on African Development) in Yokohama this year, and we're making preparations for it.
 
VOA: Thank you very much.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs