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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

  • Resignation of Parliamentary Secretary of Internal Affairs and Communication Fukuda

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I have a personnel announcement to make concerning a parliamentary secretary. With regard to Parliamentary Secretary of Internal Affairs and Communications Akio Fukuda, who submitted his resignation yesterday, as of today it has been decided to excuse the Parliamentary Secretary from his duties and procedures are currently underway via a round robin Cabinet meeting. With regard to a successor, as I stated this morning, a selection process is underway and the Government seeks to make a new appointment as soon as possible.


  • Consideration on deploying Ospreys of the U.S. forces to Okinawa
  • Recent situations in Syria

REPORTER: Recently consultations took place among related Cabinet ministers, including the Prime Minister, on the issue of the Osprey transport aircraft. Could you tell us about the content of those consultations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I will limit myself to the facts of the matter. From around 3:00pm today the Minister of Defense and the Minister for Foreign Affairs made a report to the Prime Minister concerning the status of this matter, including the results of the accident investigation that were announced yesterday by the Minister of Defense. With regard to the response that will be made, at the current point in time no conclusion has been reached. The Government will continue to request the provision of information from the United States Government and based on the various circumstances, including the importance of maintaining and strengthening the Japan-U.S. Alliance and also responding to local concerns about the Osprey aircraft, the related Cabinet ministers will maintain close and frequent contact with the United States as they consider the best way forward. That was the view of the Government at the current point and was the view of the recent consultations.

REPORTER: Did the Defense or Foreign ministers provide any new information about the accident?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The latest information available concerning the accident was announced yesterday by the Minister of Defense and the Ministry of Defense. Naturally, there was also a report that Japan and the United States continue to be engaged in detailed interaction, but I cannot go into the details.


REPORTER: On the same topic, with regard to the provision of further information, how is the United States responding and what is its stance to the Government of Japan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The United States is also working extremely diligently to provide information it acquires, and the information that was released yesterday was based on information briefed in Washington D.C. on Friday last week. I believe that this stance will continue and that there will be new information in the none-too-distant future.

REPORTER: There are those who believe that the information that emerged on Friday [by accepting the delegation from Japan] was an unusual response, so is it your understanding that the United States is showing readiness to release even more information based on requests from Japan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Basically the United States is also engaged in thorough investigations, and there is no change to its stance of seeking to provide information to Japan at an appropriate stage.

REPORTER: You just mentioned that new information would be forthcoming in the "none-too-distant future." Do you mean in the next one to two days?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: No, by my statement I did not imply a timeframe of one or two days.

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the situation in Syria. President Assad of Syria has made a statement that the country is in a "state of war." Given this statement, please tell us about the response of the Government to the situation.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: A serious situation continues to unfold in Syria, where violence has now been continuing for 15 months. The Government of Japan recognizes that an extremely serious situation exists in the country and that we must pay close attention to how events develop.

REPORTER: In response to the new statement by President Assad, has the Government taken any specific actions, such as calling on other countries concerned?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The Government would not be taking any immediate action based on the statement from the president.

REPORTER: Returning to the issue of the Osprey transport aircraft, I would like to ask whether the Government considers it necessary to receive further, new information from the U.S. side that could be used to provide an explanation to local residents, prior to notification from the U.S. concerning deployment of the aircraft.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: This is a matter for consideration from now, and, as I believe you are aware, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs (APSA) of the United States Mark Lippert is scheduled to arrive in Japan this evening. I believe he may bring further new information with him. Also, with regard to the information that was announced last night, materials and explanations were transmitted in advance to the local areas and explanations to the local residents will be implemented in sequence.

REPORTER: So do you recognize that before deployment procedures are implemented it will be necessary for the Government of Japan to explain the information it possesses?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Our stance already is to share the information we possess with local areas.


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