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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, April 26, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Just prior to this press conference I have received a report from Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Saito, concerning the meeting of the verification team into the Government's crisis management response relating to the launch of the missile by North Korea. At the time of the launch of the missile that North Korea was calling a "satellite", based on prior coordination between the Ministry of Defense and the Prime Minister's Office, the Government initiated a response based on the recognition that the missile would not impact the safety of Japanese territory. However, with regard to the manner of conveying information and sharing intelligence with senior officials at the Prime Minister's Office and also from the perspective of providing the public with a sense of security, it has been recognized that there are some points that require improvement, concerning the timing of the transmission and provision of information and its contents. The verification team, headed by Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Saito, was established on April 16, based on the need to thoroughly examine the details of the response and engage openly in reviewing points that require consideration and reflection. The verification team met for the fourth time this afternoon and has now compiled the content of their discussions into a report, which I received a short time ago. Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Saito, the head of the team, will be giving a briefing on the report from 4:55pm, following this press conference. You will be able to hear about the content of the report in this briefing, but for my part, I believe that while it goes without saying that the greatest mission of the Government's crisis management response is to secure the safety of the people of Japan, on that point alone the crisis management response is insufficient. The response on this occasion did indeed place tremendous priority on securing the safety of the people of Japan. However, in the event that the launch did not ultimately have an impact on the security of the nation, I believe that more attention could have been paid to how to provide a "sense of security," particularly with regard to the transmission of information. Given the findings of the verification team, based on the condition that no matter, however minor, should be omitted in ensuring the safety of the public, the Government will continue to make every effort to ensure a full crisis management response, seeking to improve and revise the points highlighted by the report and giving due thought to the means of providing a "sense of security."


  • A request from the U.N. Secretariat to dispatch military observers to the U.N. mission in Syria


REPORTER: On a different subject, the United Nations has issued a request to all countries, seeking the dispatch of ceasefire observers to Syria. There are media reports that state that Japan has also received such a request. What is the Government's stance on this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: On April 25 a formal request was received by the Japanese Mission to the United Nations from the United Nations Secretariat, asking the Government to consider the dispatch of military observers to join the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS). A similar request has been made to 70 other countries in addition to Japan. In general, when responding to a new U.N. mission, it is the case that the Government considers the situation in light of discussions at the United Nations and the situation on the ground in the country or region in question, based on the "Five Principles" of participation in U.N. peacekeeping operations (PKO). At the current point no considerations have been initiated with regard to Japan's participation in the activities of UNSMIS. However, I believe that serious consideration will be required from now.


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