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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

  • An overview of the Cabinet meeting
  • Government's measures against cyber attacks

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I would first like to give an overview of the Cabinet meeting. The meeting approved four general measures and the promulgation of legislation, a cabinet order, and personnel decisions. With regard to statements by ministers, I made a statement concerning the visit to France by Her Imperial Highness Princess Akiko and concerning acting ministers while ministers in charge are away from Japan on an overseas visit.

I have one announcement. Since September 14, the websites of organizations, including government agencies, such as the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, have been altered or made temporarily unavailable due to what it appears to be cyber attacks. The fight against cyber attacks is a critical issue in terms of the nation's crisis management, and the Government believes it needs to further enhance and strengthen our information security measures. As part of these efforts, it has been decided that an executive meeting of the Information Security Promotion Council will be held this afternoon at the Cabinet Secretariat. At the meeting, there will be an exchange of information about the latest cyber attacks against administrative agencies and other organizations. Also, with regard to the way forward, officials will be asked to take thorough measures. After the meeting, the National Information Security Center will be providing an overview of the meeting.


  • Taiwanese vessels' entry into Japanese territorial waters, and Japan-China relations
  • The Prime Minister's attendance to the UN General Assembly and Japan's approach over the Takeshima issue

REPORTER: Regarding the entry of Taiwanese vessels, including fishing vessels, into Japanese territorial waters, can you explain the current status and the view of the Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Today, Taiwanese fishing vessels and Taiwanese Coast Guard vessels first entered the contiguous zone of the waters near the Senkaku Islands at around 6 am. Furthermore, some of these vessels entered Japanese territorial waters at 7:42 am. As of 9 am, around 40 Taiwanese fishing vessels and 8 Taiwanese Coast Guard vessels navigated the waters inside Japanese territorial waters near Uotsuri Island. Therefore, the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) patrol vessels took regulatory actions to drive the vessels off their course, including spraying water. As a result of these warnings, the group of vessels has now turned back and is navigating westward, away from Japanese territorial waters. As for the Government, at 6 am today, an information liaison office was established within the Prime Minister Office's Crisis Management Center. In addition, in response to Taiwanese vessels' entry into territorial waters, at 7:42 am, the office was reorganized into the Prime Minister Office's Response Office, and it is now collecting information and reinforcing such efforts. In response to this incident, the Government is also lodging a protest to Taiwan. At any event, the Government, in partnership with the relevant ministries and agencies and with a sense of vigilance, will continue to collect information and take all possible measures for the warning and surveillance activities for the patrol around the Senkaku Islands.

REPORTER: Who exactly lodged the protest to Taiwan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: In the immediate aftermath, the protest was lodged through the Interchange Association, Japan, Taipei office as well as the East Asia Relations Commission and Taiwan's Representative Office in Japan, among other organizations.

REPORTER: Can you please elaborate a little further on the content of the protest?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Naturally, the content was to the effect that Taiwanese vessels shall not enter Japanese territorial waters.


REPORTER: As Japan repeatedly explains its position to the international community, once again vessels have entered into Japanese territorial waters. What are the Government's candid views on this incident?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: It is Japan's stance that this matter should be settled in the context of the amicable relations between Japan and Taiwan through persistent efforts. As such, we would like to deal with this matter in a calm manner.

REPORTER: In relation to the Senkaku Islands, there is information going around that Chinese customs authorities are bolstering their regulations with respect to inspections vis-?-vis Japan. Has the Japanese Government been able to confirm the status of this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Information on this is being collected by various organizations, including the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the local Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) office, the local Japanese diplomatic establishment, and individual companies. Our current understanding is that this is not a major overall movement, and that observations of this were limited to some instances.


REPORTER: Regarding the United Nations (UN) General Assembly session, I understand that the Government will be demanding that countries consent to taking issues to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) if a party files a suit with ICJ. What are the facts on this? Also, what are the Government's thoughts on the facts? Also, if the obligation of countries expands in this way, will this have any impact on the unilateral submission of the dispute to the ICJ concerning the territorial issue over Takeshima, which Japan is currently preparing for? If you can please answer these three questions.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: At the UN General Assembly, the Prime Minister is expected to deliver a general address on the broad theme of rule of law. Also, as Japan is still in the stage of preparing the suit to be filed with ICJ, Japan is not at the stage of making any immediate or specific comments at this point in time.


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