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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER:This question is with regard to suspicion over a cyber attack conducted on the computer server of the House of Representatives. It appears that the House of Representatives has begun to address the situation mainly in the Committee on Rules and Administration. Please tell us if there has been any progress or developments in the Government's work to confirm this situation.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:First, according to the confirmation we have made with the Secretariat of the House of Representatives, it appears that the situation is currently being surveyed, including whether there is a direct relationship with the issue being reported by the media. In late August, a certain terminal was infected with a virus, and as there was also suspicion that the server had been infected as well, measures were taken to separate the terminal and server in question from the network. At the same time, a task force has been established within the Secretariat of the House of Representatives and an investigation is underway.


REPORTER:On a related note, has the Government been able to confirm how much of a concern there is that actual information was stolen as a result of the cyber attack?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:As I just said, the Secretariat of the House of Representatives has established a task force and is conducting an investigation on this matter. Moving forward, I believe that the task force will hold meetings with the related ministries and other specialists, conduct a detailed inspection, and then consider measures to prevent a recurrence.

REPORTER:Changing the subject, today, a decision was made at a joint working group meeting of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) to make revisions to the Act on Cooperation for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) and Other Operations, which encompasses the revision of the implementation standards of PKO, including its five-year budget. What is your response to this? Also, as a midterm report was compiled in a council meeting held on the Government side in July, what is the situation of revisions being made to the status of PKO by the Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:As you say, a council meeting was launched in July, and as discussions have been ongoing since last year, a midterm report was compiled under the direction of then Senior Vice-Minister Shozo Azuma of the Cabinet Office. Continuing on those efforts, the Cabinet Office is making considerations based on the midterm report, with efforts led by Senior Vice-Minister Katsuyuki Ishida. That is the structure of things now. While this is a midterm report, various discussions have been carried out, so in continuing those efforts the future issue will be to decide on a direction for moving forward.


REPORTER:The United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta just met with Prime Minister Noda, and the Prime Minister expressed his recognition that the cornerstone of the Japan-US Alliance is security. Currently, however, the issue of the relocation of Futenma Air Station is a point of bottleneck and there is difficulty in pushing things forward. How does the Government think that such situations will impact Japan-US relations?


CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:I also attended the meeting, and Secretary of Defense Panetta and Prime Minster Noda - this will actually be posted later under the title, "Courtesy call on Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda from United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta," so you will be able to find a general overview of the meeting there - both agreed that the issue of Futenma Air Station would be quickly resolved based on the existing agreement between Japan and the United States. As such, I think there is no discussion about whether there is such an impact. Actually, during discussions the Defense Secretary and Prime Minister agreed on further enhancing the Alliance, so the United States and Japan very much share the same view.

REPORTER:On a related point, recently, the opposition parties have alleged that the Noda administration's foreign policy is pro-American - or, too accommodating to the United States - in terms of various issues, including the participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations and the easing of import standards on beef. What does the Government think about such allegations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:I have disaffirmed - or, denied - such claims even in my past press conferences. With regard to the TPP, there is absolutely no connection between the Japan-US Alliance and the TPP. The TPP is an issue being discussed under the umbrella of a major policy - that Japan will promote high-level economic partnerships in the future. And - what was the other issue you mentioned?

REPORTER:About beef.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:Right. With regard to the issue of BSE, 10 years have already passed and - there are various domestic circumstances, but - even on a global level there have been barely any cases of BSE over the past 10 years. This revision work is being conducted autonomously and voluntarily by Japan in light of this juncture.

REPORTER:I would like to confirm one more thing. Opposition party members such as Mr. Yoichi Masuzoe have claimed that Japan-US relations have deteriorated as a result of the Futenma Air Station issue, and that the Noda administration is being strongly pressured by the United States via the issue with the TPP and others. So the Government's stance is that this is not the case?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:That is correct. Even in today's discussions between Secretary of Defense Panetta and Prime Minster Noda, consensus was reached on carrying out our respective responsibilities in resolving the Futenma Air Station issue as best as possible based on the agreement made between Japan and the United States.


REPORTER:I would like to ask a question about the issue of reducing the number of Diet members. During the Kan administration, Prime Minister Kan proposed in his policy speech and on other occasions to have consultations among the ruling and opposition parties regarding this issue, in order to indicate that the members of the Diet are prepared to conduct themselves in a more disciplined manner. In this way, Prime Minister Kan was quite vocal about how the Government needs to urge the Diet to take action. However, I believe Prime Minister Noda did not go into as much depth in his first policy speech. Moving forward, how does the Noda administration intend to address this issue of reducing the number of Diet members?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:This issue, along with the issue of the difference in weight attached to a vote, has already begun to be discussed among the political parties as part of the discussion on how to transform the election system. These discussions have already been held twice, and I understand that they will take place today as well. In this sense, this matter is not about submitting a government-drafted legislation to the Diet. With regard to issues such as the number of Diet members or the election system, holding consultations among all the political parties is indeed what's most important. These consultations have already begun to be held, and the Government will be following these discussions.


REPORTER:A Japanese woman has received a death sentence in Malaysia for drugs smuggling. I believe this could be considered a harsh sentence for a drug crime. What are the Japanese Government's thoughts on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:The Government has nothing to comment on with respect to each and every trial or case.

REPORTER:In a different country, last year, when Japan was notified about the planned executions of Japanese people in China, then-Minister for Foreign Affairs Okada summoned the Chinese ambassador and conveyed his concern. Will the Japanese Government not be conveying concern with regard to the latest sentence?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:Those were planned executions, were they not?

REPORTER:The Japanese woman is still awaiting final judgment.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:I believe the case is still ongoing.

REPORTER:While the Malaysian case is still in the appeals process of the three-tiered judicial system, will the Japanese Government not be making any comments or expressing concern at this present stage?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:As with trials in Japan, the Government has nothing to comment on this matter.

REPORTER:Before lunchtime today, popular singers and groups of artists were here with you, such as AKB48 and EXILE. Can you tell us what your impressions were when you met them?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:The people around me were awaiting excitedly even before I met them. My role was to present Foreign Minister's Certificates of Commendation on behalf of the Foreign Minister. I understand that the music exchange in Vietnam led by Mr. Ryotaro Sugi was broadcast live in Vietnam and was a very moving event. I am extremely grateful that the artists have all not only participated but volunteered to participate in such an event. I, too, have long had a great interest in volunteer work, and I would like to express my respect to those well-known figures in the entertainment world who have participated in this activity.

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