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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Response to the situation of North Korea
  • The defense white paper of China


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding North Korea. It has been nearly ten days since the issuance of the orders for ballistic missile destruction measures. What is the Government's assessment of the possibility of a missile launch?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SEKO: I believe that now is not the time for us to dwell on hypotheticals. At the end of the day we must continue to remain vigilant and take all possible measures to protect the safety and security of citizens.

REPORTER: The Chinese Government has released a defense white paper, which states that the issue of the Senkaku Islands is caused by Japan. Could you share with us the Japanese Government's view on this?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SEKO: I am aware that the defense white paper has been released. I am also aware that the white paper includes such statements. However, there are no territorial disputes over the Senkaku Islands to be resolved. Therefore, we cannot by any means accept any claims based on its own  assertions.  As for the statement you just raised, we have already lodged a protest through diplomatic channels. More specifically, the Director of the First China and Mongolia Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has lodged a protest with the Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo.

REPORTER: Is there any reason that the protest was from the Director to the Counselor rather than being between higher ranking officials?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SEKO: We sought to have the protest lodged expediently between director-level officials. At this moment, the protest was lodged between director-level officials.

REPORTER: Does this mean that a further protest will be made at a later time?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SEKO: We have yet to decide how we will follow this up.

REPORTER: So you haven't decided yet. In the same white paper, the Chinese Government stated that aircraft carriers have immeasurable significance in the defense of marine territories, which I believe shows their intention to construct aircraft carriers. What is the Government's view on the Chinese Government's move to strengthen its navy's capabilities?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SEKO: I would like to refrain from making any official comments on each and every policy of the Governments of other nations. Regardless, Prime Minister Abe has repeatedly stated that the Government will resolutely defend the territorial land, waters and airspace of Japan. Therefore, Japan will not be swayed and we will stick to our policies.

REPORTER: How did the Chinese Government respond to the protest?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SEKO: I have not been informed of any response.

REPORTER: At around what time was the protest made?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SEKO: I also do not know exactly what time the protest was made, but I believe it was made sometime this afternoon.


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