Press Conference by Prime Minister Kishida regarding His Upcoming Visit to the United States
(On the significance of the first-ever Japan-U.S.-ROK Summit Meeting to be held as a standalone event; how to take advantage of the trilateral cooperation to resolve the abduction issue; and the timing to start releasing treated water from TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station)
Today I will be travelling to the United States to attend the Japan-U.S.-ROK Summit Meeting on August 18 at Camp David at the invitation of President Biden. As the security environment surrounding Japan becomes increasingly severe, it is extremely significant that the leaders of Japan, the U.S., and the ROK come together to hold a Summit Meeting at this timing. As the free and open international order based on the rule of law is being shaken, I believe the Summit will serve as a historic opportunity to strengthen strategic cooperation among the three countries, based on the unprecedentedly strong bilateral relations with both the United States and the ROK.
Responding to the question regarding the abduction issue, the abduction issue a human rights issue with a time limit. With stronger understanding and cooperation than ever before from President Biden and President Yoon, Japan will do its utmost to bring all the abductees back to Japan as soon as possible.
I am also looking forward to having candid discussions with President Biden and President Yoon in separate Japan-U.S. and Japan-ROK Summit Meetings, which will be held on the sidelines of the Japan-U.S.-ROK Summit Meeting.
Regarding the plan to release ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) Treated Water into the sea, I have so far stated that we will start the operation sometime between spring and summer this year. Under this policy, we are currently offering detailed explanations both at home and overseas. We will determine the specific timing to start the release after verifying, under the initiative of the Government as a whole, the safety as well as the status of reputational damage and related efforts. Therefore, we have made no decision as to the specific timing or process to follow.