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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, May 14, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Japan-China Summit Meeting (arrangement of a bilateral meeting with President Hu Jintao and the Senkaku Islands)
  • Monitoring of radioactive materials in the ocean areas including the seabed

REPORTER: Prime Minister Noda is currently visiting China, where a request had been made and coordination implemented towards a bilateral summit meeting with President Hu Jintao. However, this summit meeting failed to materialize, meaning that although there was a bilateral meeting between China and Republic of Korea (ROK), there was no such a meeting between Japan and China. Could you tell us of the Government's thoughts about this outcome and what the perceived reason is for the bilateral meeting not coming to fruition?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: A meeting of the leaders of Japan and the ROK with President Hu Jintao was held on the initiative of the Chinese government, which is in line with past precedent. Also just prior to this meeting, the governments of China and the ROK made arrangements to hold a bilateral meeting directly after the former meeting. My understanding is that given scheduling difficulties it was not possible to hold a similar Japan-China bilateral meeting.


REPORTER: There are some who believe that the reason such a bilateral meeting was not held is due to the impact on Japan-China relations of Japan's stance concerning the World Uyghur Congress and also the Senkaku Islands. What is your view?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: My understanding is simply that the bilateral meeting was not arranged due to scheduling difficulties, nothing more, nothing less.

REPORTER: On a related note, if Japan hosts the World Uyghur Congress, do you think this will prompt a response from China?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: With regard to the Uyghur issue, I believe that in the regular press conference held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China on April 9, it was stated that a request had been forwarded to Japan to halt the holding of the World Uyghur Congress, which is scheduled to take place in Tokyo in May. This stance of the Chinese government has been announced through diplomatic channels and although I will refrain from going into the details of the interaction between the two governments on this issue, the fact of the matter is that the congress is an activity being hosted by a private organization and therefore is not something about which the Government will make any specific comment.


REPORTER: On a related note, in your press conference this morning you stated your view that in the meeting between Prime Minister Noda and Premier Wen Jiabao, there was no statement which linked the issue of the Senkaku Islands to "core interests". What is the basis for your thoughts on this matter? If indeed it was the case that the two were not linked, what do you think the expression of "core interests" could have been referring to?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I do not believe that it is appropriate for a member of the Government of Japan to attempt to freely interpret the intention of the statement made by Premier Wen Jiabao. I have received a report that in the meeting Premier Wen did not make any statements that linked the issue of the Senkaku Islands to "core interests". There are also apparently press reports that suggest that the Chinese government was making such an inference.

REPORTER: When you speak about the inferences of the Chinese government as reported in the press, do you think that the interpretation is that core interests were not being linked to the Senkaku Islands, even in an informal manner?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: There are reports to that effect in the press. As for the part of the Government of Japan, as I have just stated, it is our understanding that Premier Wen did not make any statement that linked the issue of the Senkaku Islands to "core interests".


REPORTER: With regard to reports that radioactive cesium found on the seabed of Tokyo Bay had increased by up to thirteen-fold over a seven-month period from August last year, what is your view on the extended impact of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident on marine ecosystems?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I believe that you are referring to press reports about the surveys implemented by Kinki University. With regard to monitoring of radiation in ocean areas, based on the guidelines for ocean monitoring for fiscal 2012, which were formulated in accordance with the comprehensive monitoring plan, monitoring of ocean areas, including the seabed is being implemented by the following bodies: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; Japan Coast Guard; Japan Meteorological Agency; Ministry of the Environment; Fukushima Prefecture; and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). In addition, with regard to marine produce sourced from the oceans, monitoring is being implemented by the Japan Fisheries Agency, in cooperation with local governments, including Fukushima Prefecture, as well as fishery unions and associations. Bio-indicators are also being monitored by the Ministry of the Environment, focusing on Fukushima Prefecture. In particular, from fiscal 2012 the monitoring of Tokyo Bay and other marine areas will be stepped up and strengthened, and monitoring will be implemented that seeks to contribute to research on the transference and concentration of radioactive materials in ocean areas and on the seabed. In cooperation with the organizations concerned, the Government seeks to steadily implement monitoring of ocean areas and the seabed, including Tokyo Bay. Depending on the results of the measurements taken, the frequency of monitoring will be revised accordingly and a response commensurate with the results will be taken. That is the Government's stance on this issue.


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