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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Deployment of Osprey aircraft to Okinawa (an emergency landing in North Carolina)
  • Chinese fishing patrol vessels entering into the Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands
  • The death of the baby panda that was born in Japan

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question in relation to Osprey. In North Carolina, an Osprey made an emergency landing during routine training. Can you explain the facts which the Government is aware of? Also, when did the Government of the United States (U.S.) make contact with Japan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: According to news reports, the emergency landing was made on the morning of July 9 at Marine Corps Air Station New River in North Carolina. It is reported that the aircraft made an emergency landing due to possible trouble with the drive shaft. No one was injured. The details are unknown. These emergency landings or preventive landings - they are not limited to Osprey. These occur a number of times, involving a variety of aircraft and private aircraft. We understand that this emergency landing was this kind of general case. I understand that the Ministry of Defense (MOD) will be inquiring into this just in case.

REPORTER: I believe you are saying then that the U.S. Government has not made any particular contact still. It was routine trouble.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I understand such cases happen frequently.

REPORTER: However, with regard to Osprey, in dealing with this matter, I believe the Japanese Government has been strongly requesting the U.S. Government to provide information while working closely with them. Even then, you still consider this as falling within the scope of routine trouble?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: We understand it as such. However, MOD will be inquiring into this just in case. That is what I have been informed by MOD.

REPORTER: Regarding the Chinese state-owned vessels which appeared in Senkaku, have there been any developments, such as with the patrol situation thereafter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Based on what I know as of 3:30pm, as I said in my press conference this morning, all three vessels left the territorial waters by around 8am. However, the three Chinese fishing patrol vessels continue to navigate the contiguous zone of the Senkaku Islands, including Yuzheng 202, which is navigating the contiguous zone counterclockwise along the territorial waters line of Uotsuri Island. This is information as of 3:30pm. We do and will continue to patrol and monitor the situation while staying in contact with the relevant ministries and agencies. As to the diplomatic channels, this is as I explained this morning.


REPORTER: With regard to defending the territories of such remote islands, the Government has submitted to the Diet a proposal to amend the revised Act on Navigation of Foreign Ships through the Territorial Sea and Internal Waters. In view of further maintaining Senkaku peacefully and stably, does the Government have any intention to take specific measures, such as making laws that regulate clear crackdown measures against vessels which transit territorial waters non-innocuously or strengthening the patrol system around the Senkaku Islands?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Speaking about law, we will work to swiftly pass the proposal now submitted to the Diet. Also, the Japan Coast Guard is, particularly now, taking all possible measures to patrol and monitor the areas near Senkaku. Taking into account future eventualities, we will further increase our preparedness. That is our stance at this time.

REPORTER: Chief Cabinet Secretary, there is news that the panda [that was born at Ueno Zoo in Japan] has died.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Yes, it is truly sad. With hopes running very high, as far as social news goes, this was very shocking news.


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