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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The Senkaku Islands
  • The postponement of approval for the establishment of three universities
  • The U.S. presidential election

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit, at which Prime Minister Noda entered into an exchange of words with the Chinese side concerning the sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands. What is the Government's reaction to this exchange of words and what responses will be made in the future, given the current situation in which there seem to be few prospects for a breakthrough in Japan-China relations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: At a gathering with members of the Japanese press who were accompanying the Prime Minister to the ASEM Summit, Prime Minister Noda stated that he had made no reference to the issue in his initial statement, as it would be inappropriate to raise a bilateral issue in an international forum such as the ASEM Summit. However, regrettably, it was the case that the Chinese representative referred to the issue, in response to which the Prime Minister stated Japan's position clearly, namely that there is no doubt that the Senkaku Islands are clearly an inherent territory of Japan, in light of historical facts and based upon international law. Indeed, the Senkaku Islands are under the valid control of Japan. Accordingly, there exists no issue of territorial sovereignty to be resolved concerning the Senkaku Islands. The Prime Minister also stated that throughout the post-war period Japan has followed a course as a peaceful nation and will continue to fulfill its responsibility as a democratic nation for the peace and prosperity of East Asia. You can understand, therefore, that the Government has acted calmly in response to the present situation and continues to maintain communication with the Chinese Government in order to further allay tensions. As a responsible and democratic nation in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan's position remains unchanged in that it will continue to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the region.


REPORTER: (In relation to the postponement of approval for the establishment of three proposed universities), yesterday the representatives of the three proposed universities agreed to consider a legal challenge to the decision. Prior to this development, what was your recognition concerning the risk of a legal challenge?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: It is for the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to decide whether to grant approval or not, and such a decision will be made in accordance with the laws of Japan. If it is indeed the case that a legal challenge is brought with regard to the decision, then that shall be dealt with in accordance with law.


REPORTER: The counting of votes in the United States presidential election is continuing. The result has yet to be confirmed, but what impact do you think the outcome of the election will have on Japanese diplomacy?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The counting of votes has only just begun. I have been in a committee meeting until just before this press conference and I do not have any further details at the present. However, if the result has become clearer by the time of my afternoon press conference, it would perhaps be better for you to ask your question at that time. I do not have a full picture at the present time.

REPORTER: On a related note, how would you evaluate the relationship with the Obama Administration in the year and a half since the inauguration of the Noda Administration?


CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: In the one year and two months since the inauguration of the Noda Administration, I would say that a good working relationship has been developed, at both governmental and leader levels.

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