Remarks Upon Arrival at Haneda Airport
Special Representative for North Korea Policy
(At arrival gate)
QUESTION: What’s your schedule today?
AMBASSADOR DAVIES: Well, my schedule today is: after we settle in at the hotel, we will have meetings at the Embassy, and then I’ll have an opportunity to meet with representatives of abductee families, which I’m very much looking forward to.
QUESTION: Was it your request?
AMBASSADOR DAVIES: Absolutely. Yes, I wanted very much to do that. This is my first visit to Japan in my new position, so I thought it was very important that I understand all aspects of the issues that the Japanese Government and people care about. And I know that the abductee issue is one of the most important. And of course, we are committed to helping Japan resolve this issue eventually, in this relationship with the DPRK. So I wanted, at a very early moment, to have a chance to talk to representatives of abductee families.
QUESTION: Do you know who you are meeting?
AMBASSADOR DAVIES: I’m meeting with Mr. and Mrs. Yokota, and then also the chairman of the abductee families association.
QUESTION: Do you have any new information, or…
AMBASSADOR DAVIES: For the most part, this visit is all about – since I am new in my job – hearing from constituency groups here, such as the abductee families, and having discussions with the government. And we hope that eventually, soon, there could be progress. But we’re not yet at that stage. So thank you very much.
(After exiting baggage claim)
QUESTION: Could you tell us your purpose? Why you came to Japan?
AMBASSADOR DAVIES: Well, I came here to talk to the Japanese Government, and then also today I’ll have a chance to talk to abductee family representatives, which I look forward to very much. This is my first visit to Japan in my new job, so it is what we call a “familiarization tour” – just to get to understand the views of the Japanese Government and some important private groups like the abductee families.
QUESTION: Is there some perception that you want to confirm with the Japanese Government?
AMBASSADOR DAVIES: I’m not sure what you mean by “perception.”
QUESTION: What is your goal?
AMBASSADOR DAVIES: The overall goal of coming here is to make sure that the coordination and collaboration between the United States and Japan is as close as possible. Because the only way we can succeed in moving forward on North Korea policy is if the allies and partners of the process are as tightly knit-up, joined-up, as possible. So that’s why I’m here, to make that pledge to the Japanese Government that we’ll do everything possible to ensure that the lines of communication are tight, that we’re as closely coordinated as possible going forward.
QUESTION: What signals are you expecting from the North Koreans?
AMBASSADOR DAVIES: They need to abide by their commitments that they’ve signed up to in the 2005 Joint Statement. They need to live up to the expectations of the international community, as is set out in the two United Nations Security Council resolutions. And they need to cease their provocative actions. So that’s what we’re looking for. They need to take concrete steps. And we are going to test the proposition that North Korea is prepared to move forward in that fashion. If they do, then many things are possible. But we don’t yet know that.
Thanks very much.