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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, July 23, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

  • The Monthly Economic Report for July

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: A short while age a meeting of the Ministerial Council on Monthly Economic Report and other relative issues was held. The Monthly Economic Report for July assessed the current state of the Japanese economy in a similar manner to the previous month, stating that "The Japanese economy is on the way to recovery at a moderate pace partly due to reconstruction demand, although difficulties continue to prevail." On prospects for the economy, the report states that, reflecting emerging demand for reconstruction and other factors, movements toward sound economic recovery in the Japanese economy are expected to take hold. However, given the continuing uncertainty about the prospects for the Eurozone debt crisis there is a pervading sense of slowdown in the global economy, and the situation in overseas economies, including the impact stemming from the financial and capital markets, present downside risks for the Japanese economy and attention needs to be paid to these. For details on this matter, please inquire with the Cabinet Office (Economic and Fiscal Analysis).


  • The deployment of Osprey aircraft to Okinawa
  • Japan-China relations (including the Senkaku Islands)

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Osprey transport aircraft. In the midst of local opposition this morning, the Osprey aircraft have started to be unloaded at the Iwakuni Air Base. What is the Government's reaction to this situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I have received a report that this morning the Osprey transport aircraft arrived at Iwakuni Air Base and they are currently being unloaded. Whatever the case, even after they have been unloaded the results of the accident investigation are scheduled to be provided to the Government by the United States Government, and as I have stated on previous occasions, until the safety of flight operations of the aircraft has been reconfirmed there will be no actual flight operations of the MV-22 Osprey aircraft in Japan. Once the Government receives information about the results of the accident investigation from the United States Government, we will seek to make a prompt and thorough explanation to the people concerned, starting with local residents. In this way, the Government will continue to make every effort to gain the understanding of the public with regard to the deployment of the Osprey aircraft to Okinawa.


REPORTER: According to some press reports there is a plan for Mr. Uichiro Niwa, Ambassador of Japan to China to be replaced in September this year. What are the facts behind these reports and what is the current status of considerations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: My response to all such questions is that the Government does not comment on personnel matters that are still at the processing stages. In addition, there is no truth to the press reports that such a decision has already been made.

REPORTER: On a related note, at the end of September China and Japan will mark the milestone 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries. It is therefore envisaged that a number of commemorative events will be held. Are we to understand that Ambassador Niwa will continue to implement these?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: There are various events that have been in progress since the start of this year, and naturally the Ambassador will continue to acquit his duties and responsibilities in accordance with his position.


REPORTER: With regard to the issue of the Senkaku Islands, an all-party group of Diet members has indicated that they would like to seek permission to land on the islands and hold a memorial ceremony for the shipwreck incident that happened in the past. I believe that this request has been submitted to the Prime Minister's Office. What are the facts behind this request and what is the likelihood that permission will be granted to land on the islands in the future?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: First of all, with regard to an application to land, in the same way as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, if an actual application were to be submitted, the Government would confirm the facts behind the request and the Cabinet would determine the response to be made to the request, based on the purpose of the Government's lease of the Senkaku Islands for their peaceable and stable maintenance and management.

REPORTER: Are we to understand therefore, that at the current point no request has been submitted to the Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: It is my understanding that an inquiry has been made, asking where an application should be sent and the procedures that would be involved.

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