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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The ROK parliamentarians' landing on Takeshima
  • Recent Chinese naval vessels' movements in Japan's surrounding waters


REPORTER: This is a topic that was also mentioned yesterday, but it appears that parliamentarians of the Republic of Korea (ROK) have landed on Takeshima. What is the reaction of the Government and what response will be made?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: First of all, to give you the facts of the matter, the Government is aware that today members of the ROK's parliamentary National Defense Committee landed on Takeshima. The Government of Japan has made a strong protest to the ROK government concerning this landing, noting that it was totally unacceptable from the perspective of Japan's territorial rights over the islands, and thus it was highly regrettable. A strong request has been made that such a visit should not be made again. The Government had received prior information about this landing on Takeshima and had previously lodged a protest. However, in view of the fact that the landing has now actually taken place, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Chikao Kawai has submitted a protest to the ROK Ambassador to Japan, Dr. Shin Kak-soo.


REPORTER: I would like to return to the issue of the visit to Takeshima by parliamentarians of the Republic of Korea. I believe that the Government of Japan is currently preparing a lawsuit for submission to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on its own. Will the recent landing on Takeshima have any impact on the response by the Government of Japan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Given that your question concerns the submission of the dispute to the ICJ by the Government of Japan on its own, my response remains unchanged from before, namely that quiet and steady preparations are being made for such a submission, nothing more, nothing less.


REPORTER: This morning there was an announcement that Chinese naval vessels had been sighted in the waters close to Okinawa. What is the current status and in what direction are these vessels moving?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: At around 1:00 pm today, Tuesday, October 23, the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) confirmed the presence of a total of three Chinese naval vessels in waters approximately 130km northeast of Miyakojima, sailing in a northwesterly direction from the Pacific Ocean towards the East China Sea. These three vessels had already been sighted yesterday at around 5:00 pm, in waters approximately 470km south of the main island of Okinawa. At the current point no dangerous actions, such as proximal flights by ship-based helicopters, or incursions into Japan's territorial waters, have been confirmed. The Government will continue to monitor the movements of the Chinese naval vessels in Japan's surrounding waters, including the areas I have just mentioned, and will make every effort to engage in warning and surveillance activities in areas close to Japanese territory.

REPORTER: How does the Government view these recent movements by Chinese naval vessels? I recall that previously the Government's view was that the vessels had completed exercises in the Pacific Ocean and were passing through the waters in question on their return to China.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: It is difficult to say with any degree of certainty what the intention of these activities is. On the other hand, it is a fact that in recent years China has been expanding and stepping up activity in these areas and in particular it is the case that Chinese naval vessels have increasingly been confirmed heading out into the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Given these facts, it is the Government's recognition that from now on the sphere of activity for Chinese naval vessels and their movements into open ocean are becoming a common occurrence.

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