Peace on earth
「広島及び長崎の帰結によって、核兵器の問題に関して日本は明確に独自の見解を有している。そして、自分は本件が鳩山総理のこの問題に対する深い関心の動機の一助となっていると確信している。自分は将来、両市を訪問することは当然光栄なことであり、それは非常に意義深いことだと思う。自分は現時点では訪問する計画を有していないがこれは自分にとって有意義なものとなる。」ホワイトハウスの発表した会見記録では、「Now, obviously Japan has unique perspective on the issue of nuclear weapons as a consequence of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And that I'm sure helps to motivate the Prime Minister's deep interest in this issue. I certainly would be honored, it would be meaningful for me to visit those two cities in the future. I don't have immediate travel plans, but it's something that would be meaningful to me.」となっている。
「On behalf of the Japanese press, please.
Q Fuji Television. Matsuyama is my name. I'd like to ask both leaders -- first to Prime Minister Hatoyama. You have stated that you would like to see Japan enjoy a more equal relationship with the United States in talks about Afghanistan and also the ending of the refueling operations and global warming and nuclear disarmament. Do you think that you're able to talk as equal partners and gain understanding on this point, especially on the Futenma relocation? There is the observation that this will be a difficult issue to resolve, but how did you explain about how to resolve the timeline for resolving this issue?
And to President Obama, you are a proponent of a nuclear-free world, and you've stated, first of all, you would like to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki while in office. Do you have this desire? And what is your understanding of the historical meaning of the A-bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Do you think that it was the right decision?
And also considering the North Korean situation, how do you think the U.S.-Japan alliance should be strengthened, and how should both countries cooperate in the field of nuclear disarmament?
And also on the Futenma relocation issue, by when do you think the issue needs to be resolved? And should it be that Japan carry over the discussion -- decision to next year, or decide on something outside of what is being discussed? How would you respond?
PRIME MINISTER HATOYAMA: Let me start. I was asked a great deal of questions to -- especially President Obama, but I'd like to talk about the equal relationship. But before I state so, the President himself has said naturally that we are equal partners and should be equal partners. So in this context we have talked about the assistance to Afghanistan, climate change, and furthermore, nuclear abolishment. And I think you can ask him, but I do believe that he has regarded us, Japan, as an equal partner. I have raised a number of issues on my side, and I think this is proof of our equal partnership.
On the issue of the relocation of the Futenma air station, in regards to this issue, well, to give you the conclusion, there is the high-level working group -- we've set up this group so as to be able to resolve the issue as early as possible. And we stated this and my commitment was also expressed during our talks.
But before that, I have explained why we have this discussion, and under the previous government, the U.S.-Japan agreement needs to be regarded seriously. During the election campaign, especially to the Okinawans, I've stated that we would consider relocation outside of Okinawa and outside of the country. It is a fact that we did campaign on this issue, and the Okinawans do have high expectations.
It will be a very difficult issue for sure, but as time goes by, I think it will become even more difficult to resolve the issue. Especially the residents in the Futenma district will find it even more difficult to resolve the issue as time goes by.
So we do understand we need to resolve the issue as soon as possible, and we'll make every effort to resolve the issue as quickly as possible within the working group.
And we hope that this will lead the way to strengthening our alliance, and I sincerely hope that such discussions will take place within the working group. And this is something I have communicated to the President.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, first of all, I am impressed that the Japanese journalists use the same strategy as American journalists -- (laughter) -- in asking multiple questions.
Let me, first of all, insist that the United States and Japan are equal partners. We have been and we will continue to be. Each country brings specific assets and strengths to the relationship, but we proceed based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and that will continue.
That's reflected in the Japan-U.S. alliance. It will be reflected in the resolution of the base realignment issues related to Futenma. As the Prime Minister indicated, we discussed this. The United States and Japan have set up a high-level working group that will focus on implementation of the agreement that our two governments reached with respect to the restructuring of U.S. forces in Okinawa, and we hope to complete this work expeditiously.
Our goal remains the same, and that's to provide for the defense of Japan with minimal intrusion on the lives of the people who share this space. And I have to say that I am extraordinarily proud and grateful for the men and women in uniform from the United States who help us to honor our obligations to the alliance and our treaties.
With respect to nuclear weapons and the issues of non-proliferation, this is an area where Prime Minister Hatoyama and I have discussed repeatedly in our meetings. We share, I think, a vision of a world without nuclear weapons. We recognize, though, that this is a distant goal, and we have to take specific steps in the interim to meet this goal. It will take time. It will not be reached probably even in our own lifetimes. But in seeking this goal we can stop the spread of nuclear weapons; we can secure loose nuclear weapons; we can strengthen the non-proliferation regime.
As long as nuclear weapons exist, we will retain our deterrent for our people and our allies, but we are already taking steps to bring down our nuclear stockpiles and -- in cooperation with the Russian government -- and we want to continue to work on the non-proliferation issues.
Now, obviously Japan has unique perspective on the issue of nuclear weapons as a consequence of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And that I'm sure helps to motivate the Prime Minister's deep interest in this issue. I certainly would be honored, it would be meaningful for me to visit those two cities in the future. I don't have immediate travel plans, but it's something that would be meaningful to me.
You had one more question, and I'm not sure I remember it. Was it North Korea?
Q Whether or not you believe that the U.S. dropped a nuclear weapon on Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- it was right?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: No, there were three sets of questions, right? You asked about North Korea?
Q I have North Korea as well, yes.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Yes. With respect to North Korea, we had a extensive discussion about how we should proceed with Pyongyang. Obviously we were disturbed by the testing that took place, some of the belligerent actions that had taken place in an earlier period of this year. We have continued to say that our goal is a non-nuclear Korean Peninsula. That's vital for the security of East Asia.
And the United States and Japan, with the other members of the six-party talks, will continue to work to show North Korea that there is a pathway, a door, for them to rejoin the international community that would serve their people well and I believe enhance their security over the long term. They have to walk through that door. In the meantime, we will continue to implement the sanctions that have already been put in place, and we will continue to coordinate closely with Japan and the other six-party members in helping to shape a strategy that meets our security needs and convinces Pyongyang to move in a better direction.