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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, March 1, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission's visit to Tokyo

I would like to report the following two points concerning the Government's response to the visit to Tokyo by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission, scheduled from March 4 (Mon) to 7 (Thu). Firstly, on March 4 (Mon), Prime Minister Abe will attend an official welcome ceremony, where he will engage in actions to support Tokyo's bid for bringing the 2020 Olympic and  Paralympic Games and promote the bid to the Evaluation Commission. Secondly, on March 6 (Wed), it has been decided that a dinner reception hosted by the Prime Minister in the presence of Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado at the State Guest House, Akasaka Palace, will be held to welcome formally the Evaluation Commission and also commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Tokyo Olympic Games. For further details please direct your questions to the ministries and agencies concerned.


  • The Takeshima issue
  • The Osprey transport aircraft
  • A court ruling against two U.S. servicemen in Okinawa


REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Takeshima issue. The government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) has made it compulsory from March for all elementary, junior-high and high school students to receive at least 10 hours of tuition concerning the issue of Takeshima. What are your thoughts about this move by the ROK government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am not familiar with the details of this matter. Once the facts of the case are confirmed I believe that the response of the Government would be the same as it has been in the past, namely that a protest will be lodged.

REPORTER: On a related note, at the time of the administration of Prime Minister Fukuda, when Takeshima was mentioned in the practical guide to the new Courses of Study for schools in Japan, the ROK government immediately recalled its ambassador. Does the Government of Japan intend to take similar measures?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We have not yet confirmed the facts and therefore a response will be made once matters have been clarified.

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Osprey transport aircraft. I believe that notification was provided by the United States yesterday. Since that notification, has the Government or the Prime Minister's Office received any specific information, such as about flight routes, etc.?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am not aware of anything further than I reported to you in yesterday's press conference.

REPORTER: There are voices of concern among local governments and resident organizations with regard to ensuring safety. What are your views on this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe that we should respond seriously to the voices of concern raised by residents. When we know the circumstances surrounding the exercises, they should then be reported to the local community.

REPORTER: On the subject of Okinawa, today a court handed down a ruling against two U.S. servicemen, finding them guilty of violence resulting in injury against a woman in her 20s in October last year. Could you provide us with a comment from the Government concerning the verdict?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of the ruling that was handed down by the court. With regard to incidents and accidents involving U.S. forces personnel, I believe it to be of the utmost importance that effective preventive measures are taken. Various opportunities have been used to make calls on the U.S. side to ensure preventive measures, and in continued consultations with those concerned the Government seeks to make efforts to prevent similar incidents and accidents. However, as the recent trial was implemented in accordance with the judicial procedures of Japan, I will refrain from making a comment on behalf of the Government.

REPORTER: You have just mentioned that the U.S. side is being requested to take measures to prevent reoccurrence of such an incident. Is the Government making such requests to the U.S. Forces Japan command or through the embassy route, to Ambassador Roos?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government is making such requests relating to preventing reoccurrence through various channels. The Government's stance is to continue such consultations through these various channels to ensure that such incidents and accidents do not happen again.


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