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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, September 27, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The deployment of the Osprey aircraft to Okinawa
  • Japan-China relations (the Senkaku Islands)
  • Japan's energy policy

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question in relation to the deployment of the Osprey aircraft. Yesterday, I believe the Okinawa Defense Bureau notified Okinawa Prefecture that the aircrafts will be transferred to Futenma Air Station as early as tomorrow. When the Governor of Okinawa Prefecture and the Mayor of Ginowan City made their request, you said that the request will be relayed to the Prime Minister after he returns to Japan. Has Okinawa's request already been conveyed to the Prime Minister?


CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: We received a written request, and it was delivered immediately to the office of the Prime Minister. I believe they will communicate the request.


REPORTER: In response to yesterday's notification, the Governor of Okinawa stated that the (deployment) is extremely regrettable, and the Mayor of Ginowan City, Mayor Sakima, stated that it was outrageous. While the Government is in a very difficult situation for obtaining the understanding of Okinawa, how do you intend to achieve a breakthrough?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: As I have been saying to date, we will provide careful explanations of the significance. Also, we will explain about the safety in light of the various incidents that have occurred so far. We anticipate that Ospreys, beginning with those ready for transfer, will be deployed from Air Station Iwakuni to Futenma as early as September 28. This is what we have said to date, and this was notified to Okinawa yesterday. We will continue to provide thorough and careful explanations. That is all there is to it.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question in regard to the Prime Minister's address at the United Nations (UN). Concerning the Prime Minister's address which was delivered early this morning, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China responded quickly, saying that Japan's actions overtly infringe the territorial rights and sovereignty of other countries without consideration of international law. How will the Japanese Government be responding to China's reaction?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Nothing specific was noted in the UN address. With regard to the Senkaku Islands, Japan's position is as has been stated repeatedly, and Japan cannot accept the statement of China. Meanwhile, with respect to Japan-China relations, as both nations have a responsibility for the peace and stability in East Asia, Japan underscores the importance of deepening, from a broad perspective, the two countries' mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests that I have reiterated on numerous occasions. Arguments that bring up discussions of the outcome of World War II, as if to infer that Japan is challenging the outcome of World War II, are entirely irrelevant and inappropriate. This is my impression.

REPORTER: Regarding a different matter, I believe the address at the UN General Assembly touched briefly on nuclear policy. The Prime Minister stated that the Government aims to realize a society not dependant on nuclear power in the 2030s. The wording is slightly different from the wording which has been used in the context of the Innovative Strategy for Energy and the Environment, which has been to achieve zero operating nuclear power stations. May I ask what the reasons are for this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I believe the Prime Minister stated as follows. In light of the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station last year, the Government of Japan, aiming at realizing a society not dependent on nuclear power in the 2030s, while constantly reviewing and reexamining policies and carefully assessing future outlook including the international situation regarding energy, will mobilize all possible policy resources to achieve a good balance between the shift toward green energy and economic growth. No matter what words are used, I believe we have consistently stated that this is our purpose and intention. Therefore, I believe nothing has changed. I believe the differences in wording owe to the differences in the context that the statement was made.


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