18：51 MS. NULAND: Last one today, from (inaudible) Matsumura from Yomiuri Shimbun, please.
19：01 QUESTION: (Via interpreter.) I have a question to Secretary and Ministry. China is becoming ever more active in Senkaku Islands and the surrounding area. The missile launch by DPRK also manifests the ever more challenging situation and security environment in the region. In order to enhance the alliance between Japan and the United States, how do you intend to overcome the pending issues between the two countries, such as Futenma relocation, The Hague treaty, and TPP? And how do you intend to utilize the gains from this foreign ministerial meeting to the future of these two – the relationship between the two countries?
19：37 FOREIGN MINISTER KISHIDA: (Via interpreter) Then if I may take the floor, first of all, first and foremost, the security environment in the Asia Pacific region is becoming ever more challenging and difficult, and in order to ensure the peace and stability of the region, we not only need to closen ties in the areas of economy and security, but in all areas such as culture and people-to-people exchange to reinforce Japan-U.S. alliance.
On the security front, it is necessary that we further uplift the level of deterrence under the Japan-U.S. security regime. We will coordinate with the strategy of the United States, placing focus on the Asia Pacific to further enhance cooperation in this area.
On the economic front, both Japan and the United States place importance on promotion of free trade as well as cooperation in the area of energy. And today, I was able to confirm the importance of these points with Madam Secretary. On TPP, I have utilized this opportunity to communicate to Secretary Clinton the views be held by the new administration. We confirmed that Japan and the United States will continue to keeping close contact as we tackle this issue.
Further, on the security front, if I may add one other point related to security, on Futenma, Futenma should never become a permanent base. So under the policy of maintaining deterrence while at the same time reducing the impact on Okinawa, we will work together towards the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, based upon such policy.
Further, the following point was confirmed with Madam Clinton, and the signing of the Hague Convention is of great importance. The Government of Japan is intending to go through the necessary procedures for early signing of the treaty. By taking steady steps towards the implementation of these measures shall lead to further reinforcement of the Japan-U.S. relationship, and that, in turn, I believe, will lead to the stability and prosperity of the totality of the Asia-Pacific region.
On the occasion of the Prime Minister’s visit to the United States, we truly hope that his visits will be extremely productive in covering all of these areas, and Japan and the United States will continue to closely collaborate.
22：55 SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I will echo what the Minister said about the very extensive agenda that we will be working on to prepare for the summit meeting between the two leaders. There are so many issues of bilateral, regional, and global importance where the United States and Japan work together, cooperate, and we will have a full review of all of those important matters.
As I said at the outset, we certainly discussed the Senkaku Islands today. And I reiterated, as I have to our Chinese friends, that we want to see China and Japan resolve this matter peacefully through dialogue, and we applaud the early steps taken by Prime Minister Abe’s government to reach out and begin discussions. We want to see the new leaders, both in Japan and in China, get off to a good start with each other in the interest of the security of the entire region.
And we have also, as I said earlier, made clear that we do not want to see any action taken by anyone that could raise tensions or result in miscalculations that would undermine the peace, security, and economic growth in this region. So certainly, we are hopeful that there can be an ongoing consultation that will lower tensions, prevent escalation, and permit China and Japan to discuss the range of other issues on which they have important concerns.
Thank you all very much.