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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Consideration on the establishment of a National Security Council
  • The Senkaku Islands
  • Negotiations on a Japan-India Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the National Security Council (NSC). On the front page of today's Sankei Shimbun newspaper there is a report that the Government is considering the new establishment of a "HUMINT" (Human Intelligence) unit in the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office. Could you tell us the facts behind this report?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: This is a discussion that has taken place before. I think it was in 2008 when similar discussions took place on boosting the intelligence functions of the Prime Minister's Office. With regard to today's press report, I believe that you will agree with me that the collection of intelligence with regard to national security, namely matters that are directly related to the safety and security of the public, is of the utmost importance. Gaining information and intelligence about the internal situation of other countries or counterparts is extremely important, but is also very difficult. Therefore, through strengthening training and accumulating knowledge the Government considers it to be crucial to make efforts to develop experts in "HUMINT," or human intelligence, who will be adept in collecting external human intelligence and information. The Government is therefore in the process of advancing research into the methods and structures of intelligence gathering from an expert and organizational perspective. At the current point no specific decisions have been made about the form such methods and structures will take.

REPORTER: There are people who have pointed out that Japan does not have an intelligence organization, such as the CIA for example, which could liaise with external counterparts and engage in negotiations, nor are there opportunities to develop intelligence experts. Is the reason that the Government is engaged in research on the subject of intelligence because it is now recognized that such an organization is necessary for intelligence gathering?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It was in 2008 that a policy was announced that aimed to set out a direction for boosting the intelligence functions of the Prime Minister's Office. The issue of intelligence and information is a real and pressing one and it is based on this recognition that the Government is currently engaged in research.

REPORTER: It is already approximately four years since such a decision was made and since moves towards the establishment of a Japan NSC are now coming together is it likely that this research, or considerations regarding intelligence gathering will be further accelerated going forward?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: From 2008 the administration of the Liberal Democratic Party recognized the importance of intelligence gathering and therefore I would like you to understand that we have been engaging in research on the subject.

REPORTER: The other day, during a visit to Germany, Premier Li Keqiang of China implied in a speech that Japan had stolen the Senkaku Islands, in response to which you stated that Premier Li's statement ignored historical facts. Since then Minister for Foreign Affairs Wang Yi of China has stated while on an overseas visit that the Potsdam Declaration makes it clear that Japan should implement all the conditions stipulated in the Cairo Declaration concerning the return of territories that Japan had stolen from China. The Foreign Minister also stated that the Government of Japan should study the historical facts more closely. What is the Government's reaction to these comments?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Whatever the case, I believe that these statements totally ignore historical facts. The territories of Japan were legally confirmed in the San Francisco Peace Treaty. If you go back further you can find that even before the conclusion of the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty of 1895, the Senkaku Islands were an inherent territory of Japan.

REPORTER: So are you saying that the provisions of the Cairo and Potsdam Declarations do not apply to the Senkaku Islands?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: What I am saying is that prior to these declarations the Senkaku Islands were part of Japan's territories. My statements are based on diligent study of the historical facts.


REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Japan-India Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. There has been criticism of proposals to restart negotiations on this agreement, given the fact that India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), which could result in the NPT structure being hollowed out. What is the Government's view with regard to this issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The format for negotiations has yet to be decided and it goes without saying that any negotiations will be premised on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

REPORTER: Does the Government have any plans during the process to start negotiations to call on India to accede to the NPT?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have just stated, the format for negotiations has yet to be determined. However, in previous negotiations the Government has always naturally received guarantees that any talks are premised on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

REPORTER: I get the feeling that it would be extremely difficult to separate out nuclear technologies that are intended for peaceful use from those that are intended for military use. What sort of guarantees are you referring to?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe that such guarantees would be determined through a process of diplomatic negotiations.

REPORTER: Is it technically possible to make such distinctions and categorizations about the uses of nuclear power?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe that it is possible.


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