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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, July 3, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The Russian President's possible visit to the Northern Territories
  • The Miyagi Prefecture Governor's comments on domestic political situations in relation to reconstruction of the disaster-affected areas
  • The Senkaku Islands


REPORTER: On a different note, Interfax is reporting that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev intends to visit the Northern Territories today. Is the Government aware of these facts? Also, do you believe that this visit will impact future territorial negotiations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The Government has received various information about the President's visit to the four islands, and we have heard as late as today that there is a high possibility that he will visit the Northern Territories. I am aware of the news reported at 3:00pm this afternoon, but I have not confirmed it. In terms of Japan-Russia relations, generally speaking, the visit to the Northern Territories by a Russian senior official does conflict with the stance of Japan concerning the territory issue. I am sure that the Russian Government is also well aware of that. However, the Russian Government currently takes a different stance on the situation.

REPORTER: In a press conference yesterday, Miyagi Prefecture Governor Yoshihiro Murai commented that he hopes that the internal conflict of the ruling party will not result in hindering reconstruction. He also pointed out concern that this conflict would make it difficult for the Prime Minister to exercise leadership. Please offer your opinion about these concerns - expressed by a municipal government of a disaster-affected area.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: As you are likely aware, that comment was made yesterday, and today Governor Murai is actually meeting with the Prime Minister. Nevertheless, the question was about yesterday's comment. The three top priority issues of Japan are reconstruction from the earthquake disaster, the fight against the nuclear power station accident, and the revitalization of the Japanese economy. These have been the three main themes since the launch of the Noda administration. Another focus has been the passing of the bill on the comprehensive reform of social security and taxation systems. There has been no change in these policies. Against this backdrop, if there are concerns then it is necessary to focus on reaching a consensus with regard to party response and within the Diet. There is no change in the Cabinet's position that it will put forth every effort to achieving that mission - the major themes that I mentioned just now.


REPORTER: The next question is about the Senkaku Islands. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) is currently considering surveys and other measures in relation to its plan to purchase the islands. Have the Government and TMG already started coordinating on this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I have said this for quite some time, but ever since the TMG presented its interest in purchasing the islands, the Government has been working to better grasp the TMG's concrete position. We are now - how should I put it - gathering information and communicating with the TMG as necessary. Furthermore, the Government is paying consideration to various measures for continuing to maintain and oversee control of the Senkaku Islands in a peaceful and stable manner, while also taking into account the necessity of such measures and the opinions of the landowners.

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