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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER:I have a question regarding the recent arrest of the Chinese captain in Nagasaki. I believe the captain was arrested on charges of intrusion into territorial waters. With regard to this incident, are sufficient lines of communication being maintained between the authorities of Japan and China based on the lessons learned from last year's incident? Also, do you believe that Japan's response has gained the full understanding of the Chinese side?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:Yes, I believe there is full understanding. Proper notification and so forth have also been provided through diplomatic channels. Nonetheless, I believe this incident is quite a different matter from last year's incident.

REPORTER:Earlier, Olympus acknowledged that a large sum of takeover-related funds, etc., which was paid out to advisory companies, was allocated to cover the losses, etc. on Olympus' past stock investments. What are the thoughts of the Government on the wrongdoing and what will it be doing moving forward? Will the Government be conducting some sort of investigation or establishing communication?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:That is still just the initial report. I do not believe it is a conclusive explanation about what happened. If the Financial Services Agency or other government agencies become involved, I believe I will be able to answer your question to a greater extent. However, at this point in time, this is still a matter pertaining to a single company, and I would like to refrain from commenting.

REPORTER:My question is in regard to reconstruction bonds. Until now, the Prime Minister has said in his policy speech and other occasions that the (financial) burden will not be passed on to the next generation. However, the redemption period of the reconstruction bonds was set at 25 years, much longer than the 10 years the Government was initially saying. Can you comment on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:This is a matter which is being discussed among the political parties. The Government's position is to watch over the discussions.

REPORTER:In terms of establishing a short redemption period and not passing the burden on to the next generation, 25 years is longer than what the Government had initially envisioned. What are your views on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:Yes, it is true that the redemption period will likely be extended. However, this matter is still under discussion, and I believe it is not suitable to make any conclusive statements.

REPORTER:On a related matter, is my understanding correct that the 25-year period refers to the current generation as written in the Basic Act on Reconstruction, etc.?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:I believe that ought to be left up to the judgment of you all and that there is a variety of ways of looking at this. While naturally I am one of the members of the current generation, 25 years seems like quite a long time away and certainly you belong to the current generation. Indeed, everyone may have different opinions about this, respectively.

REPORTER:I would like to ask a question regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). As one of the reasons for participating, TPP supporters contend that Japan can capitalize on Asia's growth. However, TPP opponents argue that countries such as China and Indonesia are not members of the TPP. If Japan joins TPP, does the Government intend to urge China and other Asian countries to participate?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:Your question assumes that Japan joined the TPP. I would like to answer your question when the decision is made.


REPORTER:Based on information that Ms. Megumi Yokota is alive as reported in the Republic of Korea (ROK), I understand that the Government has begun looking into dispatching officials to the ROK to conduct an investigation. By around when do you expect this to happen?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:There is always generally a fixed answer to questions about these matters. The Government has been collecting and analyzing information and carrying out other initiatives assuming that all abductees are alive, including Ms. Megumi Yokota. However, to prevent interfering with future information gathering, the Government refrains from commenting on the specific content, forecasts, and other details related to the information gathering.


REPORTER:Regarding a different matter, yesterday, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Akihisa Nagashima and Senior Vice Minister of Defense Shu Watanabe from the Government met with Dalai Lama. Did the two meet with him on behalf of the Government? What was their position?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:First of all, the Government was completely unaware about this and received a report afterwards. Since I did not hear anything in advance, I explained the Government's position to them thoroughly when they gave their report.

REPORTER:In that case, did the Prime Minister or you give a warning to Special Advisor Nagashima?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:No, I gave a thorough explanation of the Government's position.


REPORTER:A moment ago, you mentioned that you explained the Government's position to Mr. Nagashima. Can you once again discuss the Government's position?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:I told him that as a general rule up to now, the Dalai Lama was not to engage in any political conduct or to have any interaction with Japanese officials at least while he is in Japan. In addition, although Mr. Nagashima states that he met with Dalai Lama as a member of the Diet, Mr. Nagashima is a member of the Government and I told him that his conduct deviates from the Government's position to date.


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