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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: During yesterday's talks between Minister Morimoto and Governor Nakaima, Minister Morimoto likened the Osprey emergency landing to pulling a car over or getting off a bicycle. The comments were met by objections from the people in Okinawa. How do you view the comment?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: When I was asked the same question this morning I was only able to say that I had not been fully briefed on what the local paper had published due to being in a meeting all morning. Now I have since checked the facts. I understand the minister's comments were made under the premise that the Japanese Government will be thorough in assessing the safety of the Osprey aircraft. The minister's comments yesterday were intended to communicate that the recent unscheduled landing of an Osprey in America was not by nature an accident, as I said during a previous press conference. He likened the landing to car troubles in an effort to make his point easily understood. It is a regret that his comments were taken in a wrong way. The Government will continue to learn more about the details of the landing. We will make sincere efforts to explain the intention of these comments to the people of Okinawa.

REPORTER: My question concerns the nationalization of the Senkaku Islands. In the People's Republic of China there have been a number of anti-Japan demonstrations and a part of cultural exchange events was canceled. It appears that Japan-China relations have suffered. How does the Japanese Government view this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: There have been a number of different media reports. You have stated your question in a way that implies that all these events are connected to the Senkaku Islands. We, however, cannot be certain that these events are in fact related. However, as a number of Chinese citizens have voiced their criticisms on the internet, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been in communication with relevant Japanese agencies in China and asked them to remain calm. We have also been requesting that they seek to secure the safety of Japanese national residing in China and ensure that they are informed of any demonstrations occurring in China.


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