Press Conference by Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio on His Conversation with Chinese Premier Li Qiang

September 6, 2023

[Provisional translation]


(On how Prime Minister Kishida came to have a conversation with Chinese Premier (Premier of the State Council) Li Qiang and what they discussed)
First of all, at the ASEAN+3 meeting that was held today, I gave a comprehensive explanation of Japan's fundamental position with regard to ALPS-treated water, namely that our response is in accordance with international standards, that in our monitoring, we are being thoroughly transparent and disclosing our results, and that we are ensuring reliability through the involvement of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Within that explanation, I then pointed out once again that, against a backdrop of many countries in the international community showing their broad understanding of the matter, China's temporary comprehensive suspension of imports of Japanese marine products is a quite exceptional response and that it is important to take actions based on scientific viewpoints and provide accurate information.
And before this meeting began, I had a standing conversation with Chinese Premier Li Qiang. During that conversation as well, I explained Japan's fundamental stance on ALPS-treated water in the same way. You asked me about what we discussed during that conversation, but this was a diplomatic exchange, so naturally, as for what I said, it was exactly what I told you just now, and as for Premier Li's reaction, I must refrain from saying anything about it in concrete terms.
In any case, going forward I intend to continue to take advantage of multilateral meetings, bilateral summits, and other such opportunities to thoroughly explain Japan's position and policy of responding to the situation in a transparent manner with the involvement of the IAEA.
(On Prime Minister Kishida's plans to meet with Premier Li Qiang on the sidelines of the G20 meeting (the Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy))
Nothing has been decided yet. As I said just now, I once again urged Premier Li to understand Japan's position, both through the meeting and through the standing conversation we had before the meeting began.
(On what points were raised to the Chinese side at the ASEAN+3 summit meeting)
What I just told you were only the main points; during the meeting I explained Japan's position up until now in a careful and thorough manner. I have provided comprehensive explanations about Japan's policy publicly several times until now. So my explanation at the meeting about this matter was very thoroughgoing.
(On whether Prime Minister Kishida urged China to withdraw its embargo immediately)
I stated Japan's position on the matter.
(On why Prime Minister Kishida did not give a definitive statement in response to the previous question about China's embargo)
I stated Japan's position on the matter. The specifics are what I related to you just now. I have said that I will refrain from making any statements about China's response and the like.
(On whether or not the immediate withdrawal of China's embargo is also included in the Prime Minister Kishida's explanations of Japan's position)
I explained Japan's position. Japan's position is as I have stated repeatedly.
(On whether or not Prime Minister Kishida urged having consultations between experts from both Japan and China)
I provided an explanation of Japan's position on the matter.
(On whether or not Prime Minister Kishida took the first step in speaking to Premier Li Qiang)
Premier Li and I ran into each other in the venue where we were waiting before the summit meeting began. We said hello to each other and our conversation began from that.
(On whether or not that response can be understood as Prime Minister Kishida having reached out to Premier Li Qiang)
We were standing right next to each other, so I can't say which of us first spoke to the other, but I don't think there would be anything mistaken about saying it was I who took the first step to speak.
(On Prime Minister Kishida's intention in reaching out to Premier Li just before the ASEAN+3 Summit began)
We were waiting for the meeting to begin, so everyone was there, including the ASEAN leaders. We all say hello to each other. As one part of that, I exchanged greetings with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, and we then had a conversation, a standing conversation.
(On Prime Minister Kishida's impression of Premier Li Qiang)
I talked with him just a short time, so while it is difficult for me to say anything in great detail, he is the premier of a country. I believe he is a person having discernment and insight.


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