REMARKS BY THE PRESS SECRETARY ON JAPAN'S IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS ON IRAN
JAPANESE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
February 16, 2007
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Q: Would it be possible to elaborate more on the Japanese decision to impose sanctions on Iran according the United Nations Resolution question?
Mr. Taniguchi: What I can say is that the United Nations Resolution Number 1737 requires that all member nations of the United Nations implement measures specified by the resolution, and the Japanese Government has spent time to put together what they should and can do, and the Cabinet Meeting approved this morning that relevant measures have been taken and implemented.
Q: On what basis? Like, what is the essence of the reason why Japan did support the United Nations Resolution?
Mr. Taniguchi: The "why" part is rather obvious, because Japan is a member of the United Nations, and the United Nations Resolution Number 1737 requires that, as I said, each and every member of the United Nations should take necessary measures under the Resolution Number 1737. So the Japanese Government is doing exactly that. There are many paragraphs in the Resolution Number 1737 and I can refer to which paragraphs we are citing as basis for our measures, if you want me to do that. Would you like me to do that?
Q: That is okay. But, I mean, the Iranian side says that there is no violation for any regulations of the, I think, the atomic nuclear energy agency. So what is your comment on this?
Mr. Taniguchi: Could you repeat your question again?
Q: They say that enriching uranium is not against the agency, the...
Mr. Taniguchi: The IAEA?
Q: Yes, so they are not violating any rules, and it is a kind of political decision. What is your comment on that?
Mr. Taniguchi: I do not think that it is a political decision. I do not think that Japan has any political interest other than to send a clear message to Iran that the Iranian government should actually follow the course set by the unanimous interest expressed by the United Nations, and using the diplomatic channel which is vital between Iran and Japan, the Japanese Government has continued to send that clear message to the Iranian government that they should follow the course suggested by the United Nations.
Q: How would you describe the relations now between Japan and Iran, after Japan has implemented these United Nations Resolutions?
Mr. Taniguchi: It is hard to give a blanket adjective to describe the relationship between Iran and Japan. What I can say is, for Japan Iran remains one of the most important nations in the Middle East, both politically and economically, and we see the existing channel between the Iranian government and the Japanese Government is part of Japan's diplomatic assets. Foreign Minister Taro Aso made repeatedly phone calls to the Iranian government, to which his counterpart, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, responded quickly all the time. The Japanese Government will say yet again to the Iranian government that it would be of benefit for the Iranian people as well, to follow the course that I am talking about.
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