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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, September 8, 2014 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga


The World Assembly for Women in Tokyo: WAW! Tokyo 2014 will be held from September 12 to 14. Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Ms. Christine Lagarde, and other women in leadership positions from various fields around the world will attend and take part in discussions. From these discussions, messages and ideas on how to further promote women’s active roles will be sent out from Tokyo to the world. Realizing a society where all women, in Japan and around the world, can actively participate in society with confidence and pride in their way of life is an important priority for the Abe administration. This symposium represents a part of our efforts to realize a society in which all women shine and Prime Minister Abe himself is scheduled to attend. Additionally, to add to the momentum of this symposium, starting today, a series of approximately 100 events related to women will be held in Japan and around the world over the next two weeks as part of the Shine Weeks.


  • The operation of the China Coast Guard near the Senkaku Islands
  • The reinvestigation into the abduction victims

REPORTER: Can you confirm if it is true that a China Coast Guard vessel is operating near the Senkaku Islands? If so, how and when did the government protest? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Since yesterday, Japan Coast Guard aircraft patrolling the area confirmed that a wire-like object was extending into the water from a China Coast Guard vessel located within Japan’s EEZ approximately 90 nautical miles to the north of the Senkaku Islands. In response, the Japan Coast Guard aircraft notified the vessel that unconsented survey activities are not permitted within Japan’s EEZ and demanded that the survey to be stopped. They are continuing to observe and monitor the situation. Additionally, through diplomatic channels, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has demanded that China immediately stop its survey activities as such activities are not allowed without Japan’s prior consent.  

REPORTER: How did China respond? Is China continuing to carry out these survey activities?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Through diplomatic channels, Japan is requesting that China immediately stop its surveying. The response we have received from the Chinese side is that they will check with the related departments.

REPORTER: What do you think are the intentions behind China’s activities?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government would like to refrain from commenting as this involves the matters of another country.

REPORTER: According to the Japan Coast Guard, Chinese Government vessels have been navigating around the contiguous waters near the Senkaku Islands for 31 consecutive days as of today. The number of days in which there was an incursion into Japan’s territorial waters now totals 21 days this year. Are you concerned that China might be trying to legitimize its actions? Is there some other effective means other than calling on China to leave the vicinity or protesting through diplomatic channels?     

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, there is no territorial issue that should be resolved with regard to the Senkaku Islands, as the Senkaku Islands are an inherent part of the territory of Japan in light of historical facts and based on international law. The Government finds it extremely regrettable that Chinese Government vessels repeatedly intrude into Japan’s territorial waters, despite this fact. The Government will deal with the situation surrounding the Senkaku Islands in a restrained manner with firm determination to resolutely protect its territories, waters, and airspace. At the same time, Japan does not intend to escalate the situation. We will continue to observe the situation while pursuing persistent dialogue with the Chinese side.

REPORTER: I have a question about the results of the reinvestigation into the abduction victims. During the morning press conference, you said that you were not aware of the statements made by Minister in charge of the Abduction Issue Yamatani on TV yesterday. It has been reported that Minister Yamatani told a group of journalists yesterday that she expects results before the end of September, and that she told a newspaper in Fukui Prefecture that date for the submission of a report is likely moving toward the second half of September. The timeframe for the first report from the reinvestigation is of great interest not only to the families of the abduction victims but the general public as well. You have said the report will be submitted sometime between the end of summer and the start of autumn. But are there really no adjustments being made to arrange a different timeframe?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have said from the very beginning, it has been set out in the negotiations between Japan and North Korea that a report will be made between the end of summer and the start of autumn. As such I believe the reinvestigation is currently being carried out in line with this.


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