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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 (PM)

Press Conference by the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration
  • The issue of the comfort women
  • The Guideline for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation
  • The airstrikes of the U.S. Forces and others targeting Islamic State
  • The North Korea’s reinvestigation on abductees

REPORTER: Today marks 12 years since the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration was signed. Can you please share with us your thoughts regarding this? Could you also explain once again the Government’s stance on pursuing Japan-North Korea negotiations?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: The Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration signed by the leaders of Japan and North Korea is a document that still carries considerable political weight. Based on our policy of dialogue and pressure, the Government will continue to work to comprehensively resolve the outstanding issues of concern such as the abduction, nuclear, and missile issues in accordance with the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration. In particular, the issue of abduction is a vital matter directly linked to the lives and safety of the Japanese people. Japan upholds the basic view that it is impossible to normalize diplomatic relations with North Korea without resolving the abduction issue. Accordingly, Japan considers it a national responsibility to remain fully committed to ensuring the safety and the immediate return to Japan of all the abductees, obtaining a full account concerning the abductions, and realizing the handover of the perpetrators of the abductions.

REPORTER: I would like to ask once again about The Asahi Shimbun’s reporting of the “comfort women” issue. Some members of the ruling and opposition parties have opined that members of The Asahi Shimbun and other relevant people should be summoned to the Diet. What is the Government’s view regarding this? 

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: As it is up to the Diet to decide how it will deal with this matter, the Government would like to refrain from making comments. In any case, the articles turned out to be erroneous, and a number of points have been made about its impacts. In light of this, the Government hopes that The Asahi Shimbun endeavors to resolve such consequences.  


REPORTER: A short while ago, Vice-President Komura of the Liberal Democratic Party delivered an address pertaining to the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation and security legislation. In his address, Vice-President Komura estimated that an overall outline of the security legislation would be presented at the end of this year, at around the same time as the completion of the revisions of the Guidelines. Does the Government hold the same opinion? Also, what is your present understanding of the timing of the release of the revised Guidelines and the overall outline of the security legislation?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: Based on the recent Cabinet decision, the Government is now engaged in a series of measures for developing security legislation. At this stage, I cannot say anything beyond that, as a concrete schedule or the content of the Guidelines has not been finalized.

REPORTER: I just have one more question on a different matter. In regard to the airstrikes of the U.S. Forces and others targeting the Islamic State in the Middle East, the Japanese Ambassador to Iraq stated that Japan was considering increasing the amount of its emergency humanitarian assistance. Can you once again explain the current status of the Government’s considerations for Japanese humanitarian and other assistance measures?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: As the Chief Cabinet Secretary explained yesterday, if I am not mistaken, Japan is committed to doing whatever it can to realize stability in that region. However, I am personally not aware of the specific details of what you just mentioned.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question that I also asked this morning. It has been reported that the day after tomorrow, the Government will hold a briefing for the Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea, regarding developments related to North Korea’s reinvestigation. Have you received any information as to whether the reports are true? Also, can you please explain the meaning and the objective behind holding a briefing at this timing?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: Thank you for your question this morning. Since then, I was informed a short while ago that at the request of the families of the abductees, the Government would be holding a briefing for the families. We will hold the briefing in the evening of September 19. The families of the abductees, government officials, and others will be attending the briefing. The details are currently being arranged. As such, at this stage, I am not aware of the specific points of discussion.

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