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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, March 5, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Regarding the outcome of yesterday's Russian presidential election, the vote counting has further progressed and over 99% of the votes have now been tallied. With current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin certain to win the election, Prime Minister Noda will be issuing a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Putin. The contents of the Prime Minister's message are scheduled to be released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after the message has been issued.



REPORTER: I have a question related to China's naming of the remote islands. I believe the People's Daily previously referred to the Senkaku Islands as a "core interest." By placing the Senkaku Islands on the same level as areas such as Tibet and the Spratly Islands, I believe China has further strengthened its stance on the handling of the Senkaku Islands. What is the Government's analysis or thoughts on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Be it stronger or weaker, the stance of the Government of Japan remains unchanged, which is that the Senkaku Islands are an inherent territory of Japan in light of historical facts and based upon international law. Therefore, the Japanese Government cannot accept any part of China's assertions on the Senkaku Islands. That is the bottom line. However, Japan-China relations are vital to Japan and it also remains unchanged that Japan will promote specific cooperation in wide-ranging areas from a broad perspective and continue to deepen the mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests. The Japanese Government does not wish on any account for the situation surrounding the Senkaku Islands to impede the stable development of Japan-China relations.


REPORTER: Regarding a related issue, you said in your response this morning, too, that [the resolution of the Northern Territories issue] will be based on the documents and agreements to date. I believe Russia is saying two islands, while Japan is saying four islands. Do you think it is alright that Japan and Russia still remain far apart on this issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I do not believe it can be assumed from the interview that this is Russia's current definitive stance. As I also said this morning, the agreements and documents that the two countries have reached to date include all exchanges since the Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration of 1956. Japan's stance to resolve the issue based on the agreements and documents, based on the principles of law and justice, remains unchanged.


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