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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, May 16, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Japan-U.S.-ROK relations on North Korean issues
  • Comments by Japan Restoration Party co-leader Hashimoto
  • Japan-Pakistan relations


REPORTER: I believe that the meeting between Mr. Glyn Davies, Special Representative for North Korea Policy of the U.S., and Mr. Sugiyama, Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is being held now at this very moment. What explanation will the Japanese Government be providing to the U.S. regarding the visit to North Korea of Mr. Iijima, Special Advisor to the Cabinet?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I myself am not fully aware of this. Due to the nature of the topic we have been refraining from making comments with regard to this. We have stated this also at the Diet. I believe the explanation will be within the scope of what one would normally expect.

REPORTER: Yesterday I believe it was, ahead of the Republic of Korea (ROK), Mr. Davies of the U.S. too expressed displeasure towards the posture of Japan. Will this not have any impact on Japan's relations with its ally, the U.S.?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe this will have no impact whatsoever. Displeasure you said? I watched the TV coverage yesterday. Was Mr. Davies not saying that he would like to hear Japan's explanation when he goes to Japan? As this is diplomacy, I believe a judgment regarding the relationship between the respective nations will be made after negotiating or holding talks with each other.

REPORTER: Then the Japanese Government is not of the recognition that the U.S. has expressed a deplorable view?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: These are talks between senior officials of the U.S. State Department and the Japanese Foreign Ministry. This is a diplomatic matter, and I do not know what specifics were truly said. I do not know what was said and what the statement implied.

REPORTER: Is there no mistake that the Japanese Government explained to the ROK through a diplomatic channel that Special Advisor Iijima visited North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: That I do not know. Japan and the ROK hold a variety of negotiations daily, and I am not aware of everything that is discussed in this context.

REPORTER: Co-leader Hashimoto of the Japan Restoration Party has stated that the series of remarks he has made, and in particular I believe he was referring to his remark that the U.S. forces should utilize Japan's legal sex industry, lacked international sensitivity. He corrected this part of his remarks, although he is apparently not retracting his statement. What is your perspective regarding Mr. Hashimoto's expression of remorse over the remark he has made?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Although I am not really in a position to make a comment, I gather that the string of media reports in recent days led Mr. Hashimoto to make such a statement.

REPORTER: Premier Li Keqiang of China will soon be making a visit to Pakistan. There was a general election in Pakistan, and it is anticipated that former Prime Minister Sharif will take back the administration. How will the Japanese Government be engaging with Pakistan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe it is natural that Japan maintains friendly relations with Pakistan as before. In this sense, Japan will make full diplomatic efforts to forge friendly relations not by any special manner but in usual fashion.

REPORTER: The ROK Government allegedly conveyed to the Japanese Government that Special Advisor Iijima's visit to North Korea was unhelpful to Japan-U.S.-ROK coordination. Were you yourself notified about this?


REPORTER: You only know about this through news reports?


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