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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I have an announcement concerning the establishment of the Response Office at the Prime Minister's Office concerning the Launch of a Missile which North Korea Calls a "Satellite."

Following North Korea's advance notice to relevant international organizations regarding the launch of a missile which North Korea calls a "satellite," the Government has taken steps, including establishing an Information Liaison Office within the Crisis Management Center of the Prime Minister's Office and reinforcing the Government's information gathering posture.

As the notified launch period will commence from tomorrow, the Government, in order to be fully prepared, has decided that from 1pm today, the Information Liaison Office that has been established will be reorganized into the Response Office at the Prime Minister's Office concerning the Launch of a Missile which North Korea Calls a "Satellite" (headed by the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management) and that preparedness will be strengthened.

The Government, in coordination with other countries concerned, will urge North Korea until the very end to exercise restraint over the launch in order to refrain from actions that will undermine peace and stability in the region. At the same time, in case of the launch, the Government will take all possible measures to ensure our full preparedness to respond.


  • North Korea (possible missile launch)
  • The issue of Takeshima

REPORTER: About the missile, the notified launch period will commence from tomorrow. What is the Government's analysis on the possibility of a launch on the first day?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: A variety of analyses are being made. Although I cannot comment at this time, right here, about which day between April 12 and 16 the launch will occur, we are carrying out a variety of analyses.


REPORTER: I would like to ask the following question once again. Last time when there was a launch, there were some flaws with the way the Government's information was communicated or conveyed to the people. Even during the latest drills, for example, it seems that some flaws have been made evident. At this stage, can the Government say with confidence that it has taken all measures to ensure, in particular, that information is properly conveyed to the people?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Yesterday, too, a J-ALERT test was conducted. Based on the broadcast test conducted in 26 municipalities in Okinawa Prefecture, it was found that four speakers did not broadcast the alert in Naha City and Miyakojima City. And this is being quickly addressed. In this respect, I would like to say that all possible measures are being taken while also drawing on our past experiences. Of course, as I mentioned briefly yesterday, if the launch occurs, I would like to hold my press conference as early as possible.


REPORTER: Regarding the establishment of the Response Office today, I believe the timing of its establishment was quite a bit earlier compared to last time. What was the objective in quickly raising the Information Liaison Office to the Response Office or quickly establishing it?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: While technically it was the Liaison Office until today, the Government has continuously stayed on alert and conducted analyses 24 hours a day. As the notified launch period starts from 7am tomorrow, it is natural that the Government decided to take this posture from this afternoon.


REPORTER: This afternoon, a Tokyo meeting which seeks the early resolution of the Takeshima issue will be held near the Diet. This time, Government officials will be attending, which was not the case when Takeshima-related meetings were held previously in Shimane Prefecture. What is your view on the significance or meaning of this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I understand that this meeting is being co-hosted by a parliamentary group and local organizations.  A request for attendance has been received in advance. While there are various scheduling conflicts when the meetings are held in Shimane, as today's meeting will be held at the Parliamentary Museum, I believe, from the Government, within the scope of the Prime Minister's Office, one Special Advisor to the Prime Minister is expected to attend. And a Senior Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs is also expected to attend. The Government naturally has interest in this issue.

REPORTER: On the other hand, ministers who have been requested to attend, beginning with the Prime Minister, will not be attending. Can you discuss the reason?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: This was decided in view of the various meetings held by a variety of parliamentary groups. Also, I believe today's meeting is being co-hosted by a local organization, and these developments to date were also taken into consideration.


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