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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, August 27, 2012 (AM)

[Provisional Translation]

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

Q&As

  • The Senkaku Islands (the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's application to land on the islands)
  • Japan-ROK relations
  • Japan-North Korea relations
  • Japan's future energy policy

REPORTER: There are some reports that the Government of Japan will inform the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) as early as today that it will not give TMG permission to land on the Senkaku Islands. Can you explain the status of the current considerations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I understand that TMG notified the Government yesterday that due to a typhoon, it will postpone the survey on the Senkaku Islands, which was scheduled for August 29. In any case, as the initial plan was August 29, the Government is in the process of taking steps to be able to respond to TMG's landing request by the end of today. Regarding your question about the outcome (of the Government's considerations), we hope to reach an outcome, bearing in mind the Government's purpose of leasing the Senkaku Islands, which is to peacefully and stably maintain and manage the islands. I will not yet state the outcome.

REPORTER: You said that TMG notified about postponing. Did it give a specific date as to when the survey will be postponed to?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I understand that TMG will postpone the survey to August 31, and that it believes it will most likely depart from Ishigaki Port on the evening of August 30. However, as we are dealing with a typhoon, I believe this is probably not definite.

REPORTER: I have a question regarding a statement made by the Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs on August 24 (in relation to Takeshima). He stated that it will become difficult for Mr. Song Il-kook, an actor in the Republic of Korea (ROK), to visit Japan. Was the Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister alluding to the possibility of not permitting his entry into Japan? If you can please explain the Government's view on this.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Please direct your question to the Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister. Also, I understand that he made this kind of statement toward the end of his remarks and that it was very vague. I do not believe he was making any definitive statements.

REPORTER: According to ROK reports, Japanese and North Korean government officials made contact on August 20. Can you confirm the facts? (Abridged) Was this to lay the groundwork for August 29?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Between Japan and North Korea, informal contacts are made on a variety of levels. At this time, I will not go into the specifics of when and what happened. I believe contacts are made on a variety of levels.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning your opinions on the new energy policy. Over the weekend, Asahi Shimbun published the findings of a questionnaire to Diet members on nuclear power. Approximately 42% of the Diet members responded that it is desirable to have zero nuclear power by 2030. With this view becoming increasingly more widespread even among Diet members, how do you intend to reflect this view in the discussions of the Government going forward?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: As you are aware, a variety of questionnaires are being implemented and approaches taken as part of the national debates. In addition, the media is conducting a variety of public opinion surveys. I believe the questionnaire (of Asahi Shimbun) is one of these. Just because you are a Diet member does not mean you are not allowed to voice your opinion. Although I was asked to participate in the questionnaire, I did not respond to it as I am a member of the Cabinet. My understanding is that this is one of questionnaire surveys.

(Abridged)

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