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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

October 25, 2017 (PM)

If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
This video's audio is a provisional translation through live simultaneous interpretation.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Q&As

REPORTER: I have a question about developments in China. The new leadership of China under President Xi Jinping’s second term has been announced. It has been noted that President Xi has consolidated his political power, so what impact do you anticipate that the new leadership will have on Japan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the First Plenary Session took place this morning and I understand that it selected a new leadership team with Mr. Xi Jinping serving as the party’s General Secretary. We would like to offer congratulations to those selected to the new leadership. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China and next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China. Seizing upon these milestones as opportunities, together with the new Chinese leadership, we will continue to promote cooperation and people-to-people exchanges in all areas, and seek further improvements to relations from a broader perspective, while appropriately addressing outstanding issues of concern, based on the concept of a “Mutually Beneficial Relationship Based on Common Strategic Interests.”

REPORTER: I have a related question. China has recently been demonstrating a readiness to gradually improve relations with Japan. Do you think that this foreign policy will remain unchanged?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have just noted, we will continue to promote cooperation and people-to-people exchanges in all areas, and seek further improvements to relations from a broader perspective, while appropriately addressing outstanding issues of concern, based on the concept of a “Mutually Beneficial Relationship Based on Common Strategic Interests.”

REPORTER: President Xi has strengthened his power base, which has raised concerns that he may seek to further strengthen China’s aggressive foreign policy with regard to maritime expansion in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, including the Senkaku Islands. How will the Government address the issue of China’s maritime expansion?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, there is no doubt that the Senkaku Islands are clearly an inherent part of the territory of Japan, in light of historical facts and based upon international law. Indeed, the Senkaku Islands are under the valid control of Japan. Therefore, the Government’s view is that there is no issue of territorial sovereignty to be resolved concerning the Senkaku Islands. Japan will continue to act firmly and calmly to maintain its territorial integrity, and the relevant ministries and agencies will work closely together to maintain a surveillance and monitoring posture in the seas in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands.

REPORTER: Following the conclusion of the first Plenary Session of the Communist Party Central Committee the new leadership held a press conference, but a reporter from my company, the Sankei Shimbun newspaper, was denied entry. Apparently it was the case previously in 2012 that some reporters from the U.S. media were denied entry. What is the Government’s view of this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government recognizes that freedom, including freedom of speech, respect for fundamental human rights, and the rule of law are universal values of the international community and it is important for any country to guarantee such values.

REPORTER: I have a question about the UNESCO  Memory of the World (MoW) Programme . In this morning’s press conference, you noted that the resolution adopted on October 18 by the UNESCO Executive Board calls on the UNESCO Director-General and the members of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) to avoid further political tensions concerning the Programme  and  explained the Government’s view that the stipulations of this resolution would be applied to the current round of reviews by the IAC. Can I ask again whether it is the Government’s recognition that the content of the resolution will be applied to the documents relating to the comfort women, which have been submitted for inscription?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the resolution adopted unanimously by the Executive Board of UNESCO on October 18 calls upon the Director-General of UNESCO and the members of the IAC, which is the implementing body for the MoW Programme, to abide by the principles of dialogue, mutual understanding and respect and to avoid further political tensions concerning the Programme. The Government’s understanding is that this resolution will be immediately effective and its application will not be post-dated to the 2019 cycle of reviews.

REPORTER: With regard to China, can I ask how the Government views the current state of Japan-China relations? The Prime Minister has previously indicated that he would like to visit China next year, so could you tell us if that is still his wish?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, we would like to offer congratulations to those selected to the new leadership. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China and next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China. Seizing upon these milestones as opportunities, together with the new Chinese leadership we will continue to promote cooperation and people-to-people exchanges in all areas, and seek further improvements to relations from a broad perspective, while appropriately handling outstanding issues of concern, based on the concept of a “Mutually Beneficial Relationship Based on Common Strategic Interests.” This will involve various interactions and exchanges among diplomatic officials.

REPORTER: I believe that arrangements are currently being made towards holding a Japan-China-Republic of Korea (ROK) trilateral summit meeting before the end of the year in Japan. What is the current status of arrangements?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government is currently in the process of coordinating such a meeting.

REPORTER: So can we assume that arrangements are being made with a view to holding the meeting in Japan before the end of the year?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I have received a report that arrangements are being made in that direction.
 

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