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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, September 24, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Japan-China relations (the Senkaku Islands)

REPORTER: My question is in relation to the incident involving the Chinese offshore patrol vessels that crossed into Japanese territorial waters. Could you update us with the current situation and your views on the incident?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Two Chinese Kaikan offshore patrol vessels crossed into Japanese territorial waters near Kuba Island at around 6:39 am and 6:48 am. Furthermore, at around 10:41 am, one Yuzheng fishing patrol vessel crossed into Japanese territorial waters near Taisho Island. Following these incidents the Information Liaison Office within the Crisis Management Center at the Prime Minister's Office was reorganized into the Response Office at the Prime Minister's Office at 6:39 am, and is currently working to obtain information pertaining to the matter. Additionally, a high level official has made a firm protest against the intrusion of the Chinese vessels via diplomatic routes and we are also sternly requesting that the vessels leave Japanese territorial waters immediately. Currently, as of 10:45 am, a total of 11 Chinese official vessels are sailing within the waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands, three of which are in Japanese territorial waters, six are within Japanese contiguous waters and the remaining two are just outside Japanese contiguous waters.


REPORTER: My question concerns the previous question. I believe there had not been an intrusion into Japanese territorial waters since September 18. How do you view the fact that despite continual warnings and protests, these kinds of incidents are still occurring?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: We cannot assume that the Chinese Government has any specific intention behind these incidents. However I believe they are acting under the same motivation. Regardless of the intent, it is of course natural that we would lodge official high-level protests if they enter Japanese territorial waters. In a broader sense, there are no territorial issues in this region; therefore I believe that discussions need to take place on this and other matters to work toward resolution.

REPORTER: The event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties between Japan and China is scheduled to take place at the end of this month. However, it has been reported that the Chinese Government has canceled the event. How does the Government view this and how are you to address this development?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I have been informed that the host of this event, the Japan-China Friendship Association, contacted the Japanese Embassy in China in the afternoon of September 23 with the message, "due to a number of factors, we would like to postpone the event for a period of time". The Japanese Government is very disappointed with this postponement, especially since it is the 40th anniversary. I believe that individual matters should not affect the greater Japan-China relations, and as I have always said, we should work to deepen our mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests from a broad perspective.


REPORTER: China has publicized a new map of the Senkaku Islands with 24 newly added names of places and features of the Islands. How does the Japanese Government view this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Last year, Japan too began naming Islands that did not previously have names to clarify territorial waters. My view is that we will have our views, and China will have their own views.


In relation to China giving new names, of course, as the Japanese Government we cannot recognize these names.


REPORTER: It appears that the Japanese Government is planning to approach and inform the international community that the Senkaku Islands are Japanese territories. Could you share with us how precisely you are planning to do this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I believe that Minister of Foreign Affairs Gemba last week raised, as an example, the submission of various documents to the Foreign Embassies in Tokyo as one option. We are planning to also successfully use other channels, and I think that the United Nations assembly presents itself as a good opportunity. We are also using the Prime Minister's website as another means of voicing our position.

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