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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, October 12, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

  • An overview of the Cabinet meeting
  • The Monthly Economic Report for October

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I would first like to give an overview of the Cabinet meeting. The meeting approved three general and other measures and also cabinet orders and personnel decisions. With regard to statements by ministers, the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications made a statement concerning the holding of the Administrative Counseling Week. The Minister for Foreign Affairs made a statement concerning relations with the transitional government of the Republic of Madagascar. Prime Minister Noda made a statement concerning acting ministers while ministers in charge are away from Japan on an overseas visit, among other matters.

Next, I would like to speak about a meeting of the Ministerial Council on Monthly Economic Report and Other Relative Issues, which was held following the Cabinet meeting. With regard to the assessment of the current state of the Japanese economy, the Monthly Economic Report for October downgraded the assessment from the previous month, stating that, "The economic recovery is in a weak tone recently due to deceleration of the world economy, although some components still show steady movements." Concerning short-term prospects, the Monthly Economic Report states that a degree of uncertainty about the external economic prospects of the Eurozone and Asia notably China remains high. Under such circumstances, further slowing down of overseas economies and sharp fluctuations in the financial and capital markets are downside risks of the Japanese economy. Attention should be paid with a sense of caution. For details, I ask that you please direct your questions to the Cabinet Office (Economic and Fiscal Analysis).


  • Japan-China relations (including the Senkaku Islands)
  • The Monthly Economic Report for October
  • The Takeshima issue

REPORTER: Yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that the Governments of Japan and China are preparing to hold a foreign vice ministerial-level consultation. What outcomes are you, as Chief Cabinet Secretary, expecting from this vice ministerial-level consultation for improving the bilateral relations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: This is as stated in the press release. As I have stated a number of times so far, it is very disadvantageous and undesirable, to both Japan and China, if the situation surrounding the Senkaku Islands impairs the stable enhancement of the overall bilateral relations. Therefore, based upon this bigger picture, at the planned vice ministerial-level meeting, it is important that both sides begin by first agreeing to strive to maintain various lines of communication to improve the circumstances, and I expect that a candid exchange of views will take place.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question in relation to the Monthly Economic Report. This was the third consecutive month that the assessment of the current state of the Japanese economy was downgraded. Based on this assessment, what is your view on whether or not there is a need for the Government to take any kind of economic measures?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: With regard to today's economic assessment of the Monthly Economic Report, it was explained that temporal issues are also involved, and therefore, the slowing down of the economy with respect to China is not yet incorporated. In this sense, it was assessed that the economic recovery is in a weak tone, so yes, you can say that this was a downward revision for the third consecutive month. As a basic concept, the biggest challenge of the Japanese economy for the time being is the exit from deflation, and on this, the Government's stance is to decisively work together with the Bank of Japan. In this context, with regard to the supplementary budget or countermeasures, the Government will make a decision about them when the time comes, while assessing the economic situation and fiscal conditions a little while longer. At this moment in time, I cannot yet give a response with any kind of certainty.


REPORTER: Regarding the Republic of Korea (ROK) over the issue of Takeshima, I believe MOFA is leading the preparations for the unilateral submission of the dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Can you share with us the current status of the Government's considerations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Some time ago now, we announced that Japan will submit the dispute to ICJ based on our stance to resolve the dispute over the sovereignty of Takeshima in a calm and peaceful way based on international law. Therefore, we are now at the stage of making quiet and steady preparations. At this point in time, it is no more or no less than that.

REPORTER: Related to this, yesterday, Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Kira stated at his press conference that the Government will be considering whether it will or will not ultimately file a lawsuit (with ICJ). He indicated the intention to consider these options, including the option of not filing a lawsuit. Is not filing a petition one of the options of the Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The Government's policy or vision to date has not changed in any way. Mr. Kira may have been expressing his own personal view. I do not know. Nevertheless, the Government's policy remains unchanged.

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