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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, January 16, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I believe that a press sheet has been distributed concerning the appointment of Senior Vice Ministers. In a round-robin Cabinet meeting it was decided to appoint House of Representatives member Mr. Osamu Yoshida to the position of Senior Vice Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, as successor to former Senior Vice Minister Matsubara, who has been appointed as a Cabinet minister. An attestation ceremony was held at the Imperial Palace a moment ago.

All other Senior Vice Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries have retained their positions.

The first meeting of Senior Vice Ministers is scheduled for 4:00pm today, and the first meeting of Parliamentary Secretaries is scheduled for 5:00pm.


REPORTER: There have been a number of press reports concerning the uninhabited islands around the nation, claiming that the Government is seeking to give 39 such uninhabited islands a formal name within the current fiscal year. What are the facts of this matter and what is the current status of considerations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: This is actually also a matter about which I have responded to questions in the Diet some time ago. The Government policy is to give top priority to the outlying islands that form the basis for the outer edges of Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), of which there are 99 such islands. Out of these 99 islands, 49 were subject to a survey and a formal name was decided for 10 of these islands in May last year. The Government's aim is to decide a name for the remaining 39 islands by the end of the current fiscal year in March. The facts as they have been reported in the press are therefore correct, in that 39 islands will be formally named by the end of March.

REPORTER: In general terms, where are these 39 islands situated?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: They are generally situated on the outer edges of Japan's EEZ, and naturally include the Senkaku Islands and others. For further details, please direct your questions to the Headquarters for Ocean Policy.


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