"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Joint Press Conference by Prime Minister Abe and President Trump of the United States

[Date] June 7, 2018
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional translation
[Full text]

Opening Statement by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

President Trump, I wish to thank you for the heartwarming welcome you have given me despite this extremely busy time here in the lead-up to the G7 summit and the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting.

I also want to express my deep appreciation to the people of the United States, who invariably welcome us warmly as an ally.

I first of all wish to express my sincere respect towards President Trump's strong leadership in having made the decision to hold the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting that will take place five days from now, which is something no other president in the past has achieved.

Over the last year and a half, we have discussed this issue for a truly extensive amount of time. We have been able to arrive at this historic summit with President Trump and myself sharing in all respects the idea that we must not repeat the mistakes of the past.

Today, President Trump and I spent a great deal of time discussing North Korean issues. We had a very intensive candid exchange of views in which we spent considerable time discussing the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit talks and also what we should do to foster peace and stability in Northeast Asia after those talks. While I refrain from touching upon the details of our exchange, one thing I am able to say is that Japan and the United States always stand together. Japan has great expectations for the success of the historic summit meeting to take place in Singapore.

A young girl, only 13 years old, living in the scenic port town of Niigata on the coast of the Sea of Japan was abducted by North Korea. For 41 years since that day, her family has been praying and waiting continually, heart and soul, for her return. Her parents are now advanced in years and the time left is growing short for them to hold Megumi-san in their arms once again while they are still in good health. The Japanese people wish with all their hearts that the day will come when all abductees return home.

I, certainly, wish to directly face North Korea and hold talk with them in order to bring the early resolution to the abductions issue. I am determined to make use of every possible means to achieve this.

On behalf of the Japanese people, I want to express my thanks to President Trump and the people of the United States for their understanding and support as we work to resolve this abductions issue.

There has been no change whatsoever in the policy we have followed until now of calling for the full implementation of the successive relevant UNSC resolutions.

Japan strongly hopes for the comprehensive resolution of outstanding issues of concern, including the abductions, nuclear, and missile issues, and for the realization of true peace in Northeast Asia.

We are now truly poised to take a major step forward towards those ends. President Trump, you are about to forge new history in that regard.

It is not only Japan but indeed the entire international community that has high hopes for a door towards peace and stability in Northeast Asia to open as a result of the U.S.-North Korea summit talks.

North Korea has abundant natural resources and a hardworking labor force. If North Korea chooses the right path, it will be able to sketch out a bright future for itself. In accordance with the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration, Japan is prepared to settle the unfortunate past, normalize relations, and provide economic cooperation. We intend to play as much of a role as possible.

Donald, I hold in very high esteem your strong commitment to world peace and prosperity. I will end my opening statement by saying that Japan stands ready to provide any and all assistance as needed, unstintingly, towards the success of the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting.

I will end my opening statement here.