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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, May 12, 2014 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The issue of the record gathering by the U.S. National Security Agency
  • the issue concerning the relocation of the U.S. Forces
  • The right of collective self-defense

REPORTER: A book written by former CIA employee Edward Snowden will be published worldwide on May 13. The book reveals, among other things, the hacking of computers owned by the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations. Could you share with us the Government's thoughts on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of these media reports, but Japan and the U.S. maintain communication as appropriate concerning the issue of communication record gathering by the U.S. National Security Agency. Due to the nature of this matter, I would like to refrain from answering your question, including with regard to the nature of our communications. I would like to say, however, that the Japanese Government is constantly making every effort to ensure information security.


REPORTER: The Okinawa Defense Bureau filed six items of request with Nago City, including a request for approval to use Henoko fishing port. These requests were made in preparation for the commencement of the landfill project that is to be completed prior to the relocation of the U.S. Forces Futenma Air Station to Henoko, Nago City. The deadline for responding to those requests is today. However, Nago City does not intend to provide answers to at least four of the requests for approval or discussion and will instead ask for those requests to be revised on the grounds that they do not meet the application criteria. At the same time, the Okinawa Defense Bureau will reportedly consider the discussions to have been inconclusive. How does the Government intend to proceed with this issue? Moreover, the use of Henoko fishing port requires approval from the Mayor of Nago City, so could you tell us what the Government intends to do in this regard?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan is a country ruled by law. As such, I believe that we will proceed in an earnest manner while abiding by the law. I ask that you please contact the Ministry of Defense for further details on this topic.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning the right of collective self-defense. The Government and ruling parties held a meeting this afternoon and I would like to once again ask about the current state of arrangements regarding the timing of the submission of the report by the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security, and other related matters.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are expecting to receive the report by the end of this week.

REPORTER: Am I right to understand that a specific date has not yet to be finalized?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are currently still making arrangements.


REPORTER: I would like to ask another question concerning the relocation of Futenma Air Station. Some media outlets are reporting that the Government is exploring the possibility of moving forward the schedule for the main construction of the alternative facility by approximately six months. The reports say the Government aims to commence construction before the end of the year, or before the gubernatorial election in Okinawa. Is this true? Also, if the reports are indeed true, could you tell us the reasons for this move?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I did hear about this through media reports, but I am not aware that this is actually the case. Regardless, we will proceed in a solemnly and steady manner, as planned.

REPORTER: When you say "as planned" am I correct to assume that the landfill work will commence next spring as initially planned?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In principle, I have not received any information to suggest any significant advancement of the schedule.

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