Japanese Foreign Minister Mr Kiichi Aichi has just completed a round of ministerial discussion in Paris and London.
MCS Mr Aichi speaking in Japanese (SOF)
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ 2: MR AICHI: "I first went to Paris where I attended the Ministerial Council of the OECD for two days, and during the course of my stay in Paris, I had talks with Secretary of State Rogers to put the finishing touches, as it were, to the Okinawa Revision Agreement, which, as you know, is one of the top diplomatic problems that was pending between out two countries. And after that I came to England to participate in the regular consultations, the Foreign Ministers' consultations, which were carried out over two days, yesterday and today, and I just concluded this series of Prime Ministerial level consultations with Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home and I can tell you gentlemen, that those discussions have been very fruitful. I have had occasion while I was here to call on Prime Minister Health and had talks with him as well as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Mr Davies, the Minister of Trade and Industry."
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Background: Japanese Foreign Minister Mr Kiichi Aichi has just completed a round of ministerial discussion in Paris and London.
In London, Mr Aichi has had talks with Prime Minister Mr Edward Heath, Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr Anthony Barber, and Minister of Trade and Industry Mr John Davies.
In Paris, he took part in the Ministerial Counsel of the 23-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and it was there also that he and United States Secretary of State William Rogers announced that they would sign the formal agreement for the return of Okinawa to Japanese sovereignty on June 17.
The major questions surrounding the return of Okinawa, at present run by a United States Military Governor, are the removal of nuclear weapons from the island and the amount that Japan is prepared to pay for the upkeep of existing American bases.
Following the announcement, a spokesman said that all aspects of the problem had been settled, but no further details were given.
At a London Press Conference on Friday (11 June), a statement made by Mr Aichi in Japanese was read in English by an interpreter.
SYNOPSIS: Japanese Foreign Minister Mr Kiichi Aichi has just completed rounds of ministerial talks in Paris and London.
"I will speak in Japanese."
At a Press Conference in London on Friday, Mr Aichi speaking through an interpreter, said that while in London, he had participated in two days of talks with Prime Minister Mr Edward Heath, Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr Anthony Barber, and Minister of Trade and Industry Mr John Davies. He described his talks as "very fruitful".
Mr Aichi also said that he had been in Paris for the annual meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. It was following this, he said, that he and United States Secretary of State William Rogers agreed to sign on June 17 the formal Okinawa Revision agreement. This entails the return of Okinawa to Japanese sovereignty.
Okinawa is at present run by a United States Military Governor. The two major problems involved in the Revision agreement have been the removal of nuclear weapons from the island, and the amount Japan is prepared to pay for the upkeep of American bases retained there. Official spokesmen in Paris said that both sides were pleased with the results of the discussions. For the Americans, the island is an important factor in their defensive strategy in the Pacific. Since its capture from the Japanese in costly battles during the closing stages of World War Two, they have turned it into a major military bastion for the security of Taiwan and South Korea. In addition, it is currently used as a staging area for the Vietnam war. So far, neither side has released any details regarding the return of Okinawa to Japan. And in London, Foreign Minister Aichi simply told reporters that he and Mr Rogers had put what he described as the "finishing touches" to the agreement.