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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, April 1, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

  • Consideration on National Honor Awards for Mr. Nagashima and Mr. Matsui who made outstanding achievements in the professional baseball field

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to speak on considerations regarding National Honor Awards for Mr. Shigeo Nagashima and Mr. Hideki Matsui. Mr. Shigeo Nagashima played professional baseball over a long period of time, producing a number of outstanding achievements with his fighting spirit and his ability to succeed in tough situations. He earned the name "Mister Pro Yakyu" (Mister Professional Baseball) and became Japan's undisputed star baseball player, delivering the hopes and dreams of Japan. Mr. Nagashima elevated baseball to its status as a national sport and made significant contributions to the development of baseball today. Mr. Hideki Matsui was mentored by Mr. Nagashima and constantly led the various teams he played on to victory over the past 20 years, both in Japan and the U.S., producing a number of remarkable achievements as a clutch homerun hitter. One of Mr. Matsui's most notable achievements includes becoming the first Japanese World Series MVP. He came to be affectionately called Godzilla in both Japan and the U.S. and his success has brought inspiration and joy to the Japanese people, stirring the hopes and dreams of many youths throughout the country. It is for these great contributions that the Secretariat has been instructed to consider the presentation of National Honor Awards to Mr. Nagashima and Mr. Matsui. Moving forward, a final decision will be made upon also hearing the opinions of relevant persons.


  • Realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan
  • North Korea


REPORTER: I asked this question during this morning's press conference but I would like to ask again as I did not fully understand your answer. Are the Futenma Air Station and the five facilities south of Kadena considered one entity or are they being treated individually?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I spoke on this earlier, but let me once again provide you with the details. The Joint Statement declared at last year's Two-plus-Two meeting established that the return of land south of Kadena Air Base is to proceed as soon as it becomes possible, regardless of the progress of the issues concerning a replacement facility for Futenma Air Station. I would like to note that the Futenma Air Station has not been excluded from the land south of Kadena to be returned. I would also like to add that we have never made alterations to the policies that were agreed upon as part of the joint statement of the April 2012 Two-plus-Two meeting.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding North Korea. During a meeting with executive officials of the Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of Korea, President Park Geun-hye attempted to put North Korea on the back foot using stronger words than ever, stating "we will not make any political considerations in response to any provocative actions taken by North Korea, and we will remain strong in our response." It also appears that North Korea will hold the Supreme People's Assembly today. Could you once again share with us the Government's stance toward North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I said during this morning's press conference, it is extremely regrettable that North Korea has repeatedly made provocative statements and taken provocative actions. The Government will strongly demand that the DPRK Government does not engage in acts of provocation and we are currently doing everything within our power and remain in close cooperation with the U.S. and the Republic of Korea. Furthermore we are making strong diplomatic efforts also with the two remaining countries of the Six-Party talks, that is China and Russia, and demanding that North Korea ceases provocations and complies faithfully with the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions.


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