Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  April 2013 >  Thursday, April 18, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, April 18, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Response to the situation of North Korea
  • Meeting between the Chief Cabinet Secretary and people from Ishigaki City, Okinawa Prefecture
  • The TPP
  • The Advisory Committee on Cultural Exchange in Asia
  • Being 787 flight operations

REPORTER: North Korea has issued a statement listing terms for dialogue, including the withdrawal of the sanctions resolutions of the United Nations (UN) Security Council and the suspension of the U.S.-ROK joint military drills. How does the Japanese Government view this North Korean posture?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It's unbelievable, right? In any case, the UN resolutions are rigorous measures. North Korea must refrain from provocative words and conduct, and the international community must work together to ensure that provocative words and conduct are not translated into action. What must be done first is for North Korea to comply with such rules as the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks and the UN resolutions.

REPORTER: What do you think is North Korea's aim in setting forth conditions, such as, for example, the withdrawal of the sanctions resolutions and the suspension of the joint military drills?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I do not know. Please ask North Korea.

REPORTER: In relation to this, in regard to the fact that North Korea gave conditions for dialogue, do you analyze that there is a slight change in the tense situation that has persisted to date?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: A variety of analyses are now being carried out based on past examples. Nevertheless, in principle, it is important that Japan take all possible preparations while remaining on full alert.

REPORTER: Chief Cabinet Secretary, you have repeatedly stated that there must be denuclearization for the resumption of dialogue. However, if North Korea wishes to have dialogue, is the Japanese Government prepared to work with the U.S. and other partners to go to the negotiating table, even if there are no concrete actions towards denuclearization?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There are the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks and the Security Council resolutions. These are rigorous measures. North Korea must first begin by complying with these measures.

REPORTER: Changing the subject, today, assembly members and others from Ishigaki City visited you. What kind of exchanges took place between the two sides?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We discussed the issue of fishing operations in the areas around the Senkaku Islands and the repeated intrusion of Chinese Government vessels into Japanese territorial waters. In this context, they requested that the Japanese Government take thorough steps to enable safe fishing operations. At the same time, they asked that the Government listen to the voices of the members of the local fisheries cooperative with regard to the recent Japan-Taiwan fisheries agreement.


REPORTER: Regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), it was announced that Mr. Amari, the minister in charge, will be dispatched to Indonesia. However, I believe there are still negotiations to be done with countries which have not consented to Japan joining the TPP negotiations. Is my understanding correct that the negotiations have reached a closing phase and Minister Amari will be going to Indonesia to obtain the agreement of the countries?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Now that Japan has announced its participation, I believe it is part of Japan's efforts to explain its position to the countries which have already announced their participation in the TPP.

REPORTER: So it is not the case that the countries' agreements are expected to be obtained during this visit?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As the ministers in charge from each country will be there, we believe this is a good opportunity for Minister Amari to go and explain Japan's position.

REPORTER: I have another question regarding this topic of TPP. Japan and the U.S. have reached an agreement. And I believe there are slight discrepancies between the outline of the agreement released by Japan and that released by the U.S. Some have pointed out that the outlines are phrased in a way that works in the favor of the respective countries, for example, in the areas of insurance and agricultural products. What is your view on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There is nothing of that sort. The agreement reached between Japan and the U.S. is the documents that both sides have signed. That is it. It is nothing more or less than that. The text that the two sides agreed upon is only the public text which has been released.

REPORTER: With regard to Mr. Amari's visit, do you have an idea as to the approximate number of counter-partners which he will be able to hold talks with?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: This will be a meeting of ministers from various countries. I gather that countries which would like to listen to, or rather, countries to which Japan's views must be explained as much as possible will be given priority. In any event, everybody will be gathering together, and I believe explanations will be provided to as many countries as possible.


REPORTER: I would like to ask about the Advisory Committee on Cultural Exchanges in Asia, which was announced this morning. Mr. Takeshi Kitano is one of the members. I believe it is unprecedented for Mr. Kitano to serve as a member of a Government council. Can you please explain why he was selected and the specific themes which the meeting will be discussing?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have announced this morning, this meeting will be established in response to one of the "five principles of Japan's ASEAN diplomacy" - "to protect and nurture Asia's diverse cultures and traditions - which Prime Minister Abe unveiled in Indonesia in January of this year. Mr. Kitano indeed has an accomplished career in film and other fields. The themes relating to cultural exchanges are very broad and profound in scope. Therefore, I understand that academics, researchers, and those from the media, fashion industry, and film industry were selected as members. I believe Mr. Kitano is suitable.

REPORTER: It has been reported that U.S. authorities are expected to permit Boeing 787 flights again. Has the Japanese Government received any word from the U.S.?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Although the resumption of flights has been reported by some parts of the media, the Government is not yet aware of this fact. We understand that the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism is working closely with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.


Page Top

Related Link