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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, November 22, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

  • The issue of the mislabeling of food products

In relation to the issue of the mislabeling of food products, during a meeting held last week on November 11, I asked that all concerned ministries and agencies work to rectify the inappropriate labeling problem and swiftly establish comprehensive guidelines for the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations. We recently received urgent recommendations from the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, which we take very seriously. In addition to the aforementioned instructions, we asked the Consumer Affairs Agency to swiftly develop practical measures, which may include legislative action, to alter vendors' perceptions of food labeling and strengthen the monitoring and guidance system.


  • The issue related to Chinese action in the waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands
  • The issue related to US President Obama's visit to Japan


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning Chinese actions in the waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands. Yesterday the Japan Coast Guard confirmed that the crews of China Coast Guard vessels boarded Chinese fishing vessels in Japan's exclusive economic zone. Could you please share with us the facts of the situation and any information on developments since the incident?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Sometime after 10 am yesterday, in Japan's exclusive economic zone, a Japan Coast Guard patrol vessel confirmed that two rafts launched from China Coast Guard vessels pulled up alongside Chinese fishing vessels and the raft crews boarded said fishing vessels. Following reports from the Japan Coast Guard, we lodged a protest against the Chinese Government via diplomatic routes, stating that if China is exercising some kind of jurisdiction in Japan's exclusive economic zone, this cannot be tolerated.

REPORTER: Could you share with us any responses the Chinese Government has made with regard to the protest lodged via diplomatic routes? I heard that the China Coast Guard responded via wireless communications, saying that the fishing vessels are simply conducting legal fishing activities in an area under China's jurisdiction. What are your thoughts on China's actions within Japan's exclusive economic zone?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I said earlier, Japan lodged a protest stating that the actions of the Chinese side cannot be tolerated. I have been informed that the Chinese Government has responded that it will report the protest internally.

REPORTER: I believe it is possible that similar incidents could happen again in the future. Could you tell us of some of the practical measures that the Government may take?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Senkaku Islands are clearly an inherent territory of Japan in light of historical facts and based upon international law. It is the Abe Government's basic position to steadfastly protect Japan's territorial land, sea and air.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning President Obama's visit to Japan. There have been media reports suggesting that President Obama will visit Japan in April. Am I right to understand that arrangements for President Obama's trip to Japan are being arranged with April in mind?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: At the Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting in September this year, Prime Minister Abe invited US President Obama to visit Japan. Since then we have been in communication with the U.S. to make arrangements. However, the dates have yet to be determined. No decision has been made as to the timing of the visit.

REPORTER: I believe that one of the reasons for the media reporting that the visit will occur in April is that President Obama is scheduled to tour Southeast Asia in April. Is there any possibility that a trip to Japan will be arranged as part of that tour?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I have not heard anything to suggest that it will be the case. Neither Government has made any decision regarding the timing of a visit. We have not fixed any dates and we have not reached any decision regarding the timing of the visit.


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