Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  September 2012 >  Friday, September 14, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, September 14, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Japan-North Korea relations
  • Japan-China relations (the Senkaku Islands)
  • The Energy and Environment Council
  • Japan-Korea relations (the Takeshima issue)

REPORTER: September 17 will mark the 10th year since the signing of the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration. Consultations between Japan and North Korea had since stalled but resumed the other day, and there are high hopes that we will see some progress on the abduction issue. I would like you to share with us, in this milestone year, how you are intending to work toward Japan-DPRK consultations and the normalization of diplomatic relations.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: This coming September 17 will be exactly 10 years since the signing of the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration. The Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration was signed by the leaders of Japan and the DPRK-then Prime Minister Koizumi and Chairman Kim Jong-Il of the National Defense Commission. The declaration was politically very significant. The Japanese Government is determined to continue to comprehensively address the pending issues, including the abduction, nuclear and missile issues, in line with the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration. After having held preliminary consultations on August 29 and 31, we are now currently using the embassy diplomatic route to arrange Japan-DPRK consultations with higher level officials that are hoped to be held as soon as possible. The Japanese Government desires to have in-depth discussions on the abduction issue, which is our highest priority, in order to make progress toward resolution, and as I said, we are currently in the process of organizing these consultations.

REPORTER: With regard to consultations with higher level officials, I believe that the Government had worked toward a rough target date of September 17, but it would appear that consultations are likely to be later than that. Do you have any ideas as to when the consultations may take place?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: We are currently in communication with the DPRK Government via the embassy diplomatic route, and we are not in a position where we can state a specific date such as the 17th. We do, however, still seek to have the consultations take place as soon as possible.

REPORTER: I have a question relating to the Senkaku Islands. Today, the largest ever number of Chinese vessels is approaching the islands since the Government's decision to nationalize them. In addition the Chinese Government has called for a boycott of Japanese goods and there are concerns that there will be various other economic-related impacts. As the Government, did you assume that such impacts may occur surrounding the Senkaku Islands?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I would first like to report on the current status relating to Chinese government vessels in the region. I also reported in the morning press conference on the status of the six maritime surveillance vessels, "Haijian," of the State Oceanic Administration of China, and I have received a report from local sources that as of around 1:30 pm today the vessels had left Japanese territorial waters, and as of around 2:38 pm all six vessels had left the contiguous zone around Japan's territorial waters. I would like to refrain from comment about the purpose of the incursion by the Chinese vessels being related to the Government's possession of the Senkaku Islands. With regard to the impact that you mentioned in your question, I responded to a similar question this morning, and I will state again that the Government envisages that there is a possibility such impacts may occur and therefore the Government will maintain close contact with the relevant ministries and agencies and share information regarding the situation.

REPORTER: I have one more question relating to the Senkaku Islands. Within the Cabinet and the Government, there have been some voices of doubt raised concerning the timing of the nationalization, similar to remarks made yesterday by Senior Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, who noted that he would have like to have engaged with the Chinese Government in a more congenial manner. What is the Government's view of such opinions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Earlier this week the acquisition of the Senkaku Islands was concluded based on the intention to sell indicated by the owner and the interest expressed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. The acquisition was concluded after various meetings and discussions with the Government, the owner and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and therefore I do not believe that criticism of whether the timing was appropriate or not applies in this case. Reflecting the wishes of the owner, the acquisition was concluded as quickly as possible.

REPORTER: According to press reports in China, once the closed season on fishing ends on September 16, it is anticipated that a large number of fishing  vessels and fisheries patrol vessels will head towards the seas in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands. If this is true then it could be the case that there will be a large-scale incursion into Japan's territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands. What response is the Government planning in such an event?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I am aware of these press reports and the Government, with the Japan Coast Guard taking the lead, is taking measures to strengthen the warning and surveillance structure in the surrounding seas, in view of the recent situation. From now the ministries and agencies concerned will engage in close cooperation to make every effort to ensure the security of Japan's territorial waters, including warning and surveillance measures in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands.

REPORTER: In the morning a ministerial meeting relating to energy and the environment was held and I believe that Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet Office Hiroshi Ogushi and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Akihisa Nagashima presented reports. What information was provided concerning the intentions or requests of the United States?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: As this relates to diplomatic matters between Japan and the United States I will refrain from making a detailed comment. However, the Energy and Environment Council meeting is scheduled to be held later today and a briefing on that meeting will be made subsequently by Minister Furukawa, who I believe will touch upon Japan-U.S. relations. However, as the Energy and Environment Council meeting has not yet been held I would like to refrain from further detailed comment.


REPORTER: "The Dokdo Museum Seoul" has recently been opened in Seoul, Republic of Korea (ROK), which introduces exhibits relating to Takeshima. It appears that the ROK Government has provided funds for the construction of this museum. What is the response of the Japanese Government to the opening of this museum?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I believe that press reports have covered the opening of this museum. I do not believe it is for the Government of Japan to make comments on individual actions that take place in the domestic context in the ROK. However, with regard to Takeshima, as I have stated on numerous occasions, it is clearly apparent that Takeshima is an inherent part of the territory of Japan.


Page Top

Related Link