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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, March 22, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Japan-ROK relations
  • Japan-Russia relations
  • The Rim of the Pacific Exercise in 2014


REPORTER: There are press reports that 53 city assembly members and others from South Gyeongsang Province in the Republic of Korea (ROK) are planning to visit Tsushima from March 26 to 27, in order to commemorate Tsushima Day, which was on March 18. In 2011, when Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members Mr. Shindo, Ms. Inada and Mr. Sato attempted to visit the ROK in order to conduct a survey concerning Takeshima, they were denied entry to the ROK. As the Chief Cabinet Secretary of the Abe Administration, which has pledged to resolutely protect Japan's sovereignty and territories, could I ask for your reaction to this plan by ROK assembly members, with something more than "no comment"? (Abridged)

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: This is the first time for me to hear about such press reports, but I think that it would be natural for the Government of Japan to respond calmly based on international law and order.

REPORTER: If the response of the Government is based on international law, there are stipulations in the Immigration Control Act and others that refer to the principle of reciprocity. Given the experience of the three Diet members in 2011, including Mr. Shindo, who were denied entry to the ROK and detained at the airport, is it likely that a response based on Article 5 of the Immigration Control Act, for example, would be made?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: No, the stance of the Government is to respond in a straightforward manner, based on law.

REPORTER: There are press reports that in a Cabinet meeting of March 21 Prime Minister Medvedev of Russia made a proposal to consider the establishment of preferential tax breaks and other measures for offshore regions, including the Northern Territories. What is the Government's reaction to this proposal and what response measures will be taken?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government's stance on the Northern Territories is already clear and therefore I do not think that it is necessary to comment on individual statements made by the Russian side. It is an indisputable fact that the Northern Territories are inherent territories of Japan and Russia's persistent occupation of the Four Northern Islands is something that the Government cannot accept. The Government will continue to closely monitor moves by Russia on this issue.


REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Chinese navy. There are press reports that the Chinese navy will participate for the first time in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), which is to be hosted and administered by the United States off the coast of Hawaii in 2014. Is the Government aware of the Chinese navy's participation and if so, what is the Government's view of China's participation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: RIMPAC is a multi-national maritime exercise hosted by the United States Navy and Japan also participates in this exercise. The Government is aware that the United States coordinates the participating nations and therefore I would like to refrain from commenting about relations with other countries in the context of this exercise. However, what I would say is that RIMPAC is for the purpose of improving participating countries' tactical techniques and also for promoting mutual understanding and trusting relations. Given that Japan also participates in RIMPAC, we will seek to engage in these exercises with the various participating nations and build trust.


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