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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The Senkaku Islands
  • North Korea

REPORTER: I am afraid that my question may have been already raised at this morning's press conference, but I would like to ask a question concerning the Senkaku Islands. Citing the Cairo Declaration, the Premier of the People's Republic of China and a spokesperson for the Chinese Government claim that Japan must return the territories it has stolen. Could you once again share with us the Government's thoughts on their claims, and also explain your understanding of historical facts?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Declaration were documents that stipulated the basic postwar settlement policy of the Allied powers and in fact the final determination of sovereignty of territories as a result of a war is ultimately settled by international agreements such as peace treaties. With this understanding it is the San Francisco Peace Treaty that legally defines the territory of Japan after the war. Furthermore the Japanese Government had already made the Cabinet decision to incorporate the Senkaku Islands into Okinawa Prefecture prior to the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty. Therefore, in no way can the Cairo Declaration be applied to the Senkaku Islands. I also understand that the fact that there was no objection from major members of the Allied powers, including the US, UK, France or China, at the time of the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty is evidence of this.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question in relation to North Korea. The newspaper of the Workers' Party of Korea published an editorial, using very strong language, on North Korean intentions to maintain a nuclear deterrent force. In light of this attitude of North Korea, could you once again share with us with what approach the Government will enter dialogue with North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Government will, together with other nations, endeavor to take diplomatic action that will convince North Korea that such actions will be of absolutely no benefit to the country.

REPORTER: North Korea's disposition is that it will maintain a deterrence capacity. Do you believe that this may potentially influence negotiations concerning the abduction issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The stance of Japan is very clear and our basic policy is to comprehensively resolve the outstanding issues of concern such as the abduction, nuclear and missile issues. We also believe that unless Japan takes leadership and initiative on the abduction issue, resolution of the issue will be difficult to achieve. It is from this perspective that we are approaching these issues.

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