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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The safety of Osprey aircrafts
  • Japan-China relations (the Senkaku Islands)
  • The Prime Minister's statement about the three-party agreement on TV

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question in regard to the safety declaration issued this morning concerning the Osprey aircraft. The declaration has drawn immediate objections from the people in Okinawa, who are saying that the declaration is incomprehensible. Moving forward, what efforts will the Government be making to obtain the understanding of the people of Okinawa? My other question is, what is your assessment of the declaration from the standpoint of strengthening Japan-U.S. relations and the Japan-U.S. alliance?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I believe the Ministry of Defense has announced the details. Without repeating too much of what was stated, let me explain as follows. I believe the announcement was that the Japanese Government verified the safety from a variety of angles, including verification of the causes of the accidents in Morocco and Florida. The verification found no particular problems with the safety of the aircraft body. Furthermore, the verification did not offer any basis for believing that the MV-22 Osprey is particularly more dangerous compared to other aircrafts. In addition, a variety of active discussions have been carried out at the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee. The discussions confirmed that sufficient measures were being taken to prevent the reoccurrence of accidents. Also, with regard to flight operations in Japan, Japan and the United States (U.S.) agreed that sufficient considerations were being made for the local residents, and that maximum safety measures were being taken. On this basis, today, taking into account all of these factors holistically, the Government announced its view, which is that there is sufficient confirmation of the safety of MV-22 flight operations in Japan. Regarding Japan-U.S. relations, as is written at the very beginning of today's report, indeed, in terms of Japanese security, including the East China Sea, the replacement of helicopters with the highly capable Osprey aircrafts marks a step forward in Japan-U.S. security relations for both sides, in the sense that this will dramatically raise the level of security in East Asia and the East China Sea.


REPORTER: Regarding the demonstrations in China, there are reports that the public security authorities in Beijing have sent out a text message asking people to refrain from participating in demonstrations. What is the understanding of the Japanese Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Some of the demonstrations which took place across China became violent, or resulted in the arson, break-in, vandalism at sales floors and production lines, and looting of Japanese businesses. As I have said here before, Japan is stating to China through various channels that acts of violence are not tolerated on any grounds and that what has happened is extremely regrettable. I believe our statements are understandable. I believe (the text message) is one indication of these aspects being taken fully into consideration.


REPORTER: Related to the Senkaku Islands, at today's press conference, the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism stated that by the end of today, with regard to the two Japanese males who recently landed on the Senkaku Islands, the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) will file a claim for the violation of the Minor Offenses Act to the Okinawa Prefecture Police. What is the current status of this? Also, what is the reason behind the decision to file a claim, in contrast with the response (inaudible) which was taken when Japanese people similarly landed on the Senkaku Islands in the previous instance? Can you explain the situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: My response may overlap with that of the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. In order to peacefully and stably maintain and manage the Senkaku Islands over the long-term, it is appropriate to take this opportunity of the acquisition of the three Senkaku Islands to make clear our intention to punish anyone who trespasses the islands without permission. To this end, a decision was reached that the JCG, which manages the islands, should file a claim to the police, which is the investigating body. I believe this is what the Minister stated. There is no change to Japan's policy so far, which is that rigorous measures pursuant to relevant domestic laws and ordinances will be taken according to individual, specific cases.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question on the statement that the Prime Minister made last night on a TV program. Regarding the three-party agreement, the Prime Minister indicated that in view of the changes in circumstances following the censure motion, the three-party agreement needed to be confirmed and required a fresh start after the presidential elections of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP). Yesterday, LDP Vice-President Oshima requested to you that the three-party agreement be upheld. What is the administration's view on the confirmation needed for executing the three-party agreement in the aftermath of the censure motion?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: As this is an agreement among the leaders of the parties, I believe it is not a matter on which the Government should be responding. I believe the Prime Minister stated yesterday that the three-party agreement should be confirmed and start anew once the DPJ and LDP presidential elections are over. The Prime Minister then noted that he realizes the weight of his words, and that he would like the three-party agreement to be confirmed. I believe this is what he said, and I believe these are the views of the Prime Minister.


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