Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  June 2013 >  Thursday, June 6, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, June 6, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

  • The creation of the Yuichiro Miura Japan Explorer Prize

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I would like to read out the following: Today it was decided that the Yuichiro Miura Japan Explorer Prize is to be added to the Prime Minister's Commendations. This new award has been created in honor of Yuichiro Miura, who recently became the oldest person to reach the summit of Mount Everest. The award will be given to recognize the achievement of explorers who challenge the limits of man in nature and give the nation dreams, hope and inspiration. It is hoped that through this prize the spirit of Yuichiro Miura, who has taken on so many challenges, will be passed on.

The prize will be awarded to any individual that meets the criteria and Mr. Miura will be involved in the selection of the winners as an honorary judge and head of the selection committee. For more details on this topic, please contact the personnel section of Cabinet Office.


  • The Yuichiro Miura Japan Explorer Prize
  • ROK-North Korea relations
  • The U.S.-China Summit Meeting
  • The President of Taiwan's comments about the Senkaku Islands
  • Formar Chief Cabinet Secretary Nonaka's visit to China
  • The proposal concerning Osprey aircraft exercises in Osaka Prefecture
  • Japan's total fertility rate


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question on the same topic. I understand that this is the first award to be created since the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize. I believe that prize money is given to recipients of the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, with the prize money being funded out of reserve funds. Is the Government planning to do the same for this new award and provide for it in the budget?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We have yet to discuss the details of the prize, and that too is something we will consider. We have a number of things in mind, however we only gained approval from Mr. Miura today, so we will discuss further with him to ensure that what is decided is appropriate for the award.

REPORTER: Will the recipients be only limited to Japanese citizens?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We have not decided that yet. As I just said, we will finalize the details after discussing them with Mr. Miura. However, those who challenge the potential and limits of man in nature will be eligible. As for the details of the prize, we would like to present a certificate and commemorative gift.

REPORTER: Today North Korea proposed holding dialogues with the Republic of Korea on issues such as the Kaesong Industrial Region. The Republic of Korea in turn responded positively. How does the Japanese Government view this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We do not know the details of the developments between the two countries; however I believe that it is more positive than the previous state of antagonism.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning the U.S.-China Summit Meeting. President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, will soon visit the U.S. and hold talks with President Obama. With Japan being an ally of the U.S., what does the Japanese Government believe is the significance of these talks? Also, what does the Japanese Government expect from the talks in relation to U.S.-China relations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I believe that these upcoming talks, where the leaders of the U.S. and China will engage in open discussions on issues concerning bilateral relations and the international community, will have a significant influence on the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific. Therefore I expect the talks to be constructive.

As I have said before, Mr. Thomas Donilon, Advisor to the President, who is responsible for national security, called us prior to his visit to China in relation to this Summit Meeting, facilitating close communication between Japan and the U.S. Therefore I believe that the U.S will proceed with this meeting in consideration of what we discussed.

REPORTER: Please allow me to change the topic. On the subject of the Senkaku Islands, the President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou, held a press conference with Kyodo News and declared that he will encourage the involvement of China and seek three party talks involving Japan, China and Taiwan in order to restore peace to the East China Sea. Could you share with us the Government's views on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe that Mr. Ma Ying-jeou has made comments to this effect in the past. I believe that his comments are motivated by Taiwan's own assertions in relation to the Senkaku Islands. However, needless to say there is no doubt that the Senkaku Islands are clearly an inherent territory of Japan, in light of historical facts and based upon international law. Indeed, the Senkaku Islands are under the valid control of Japan. Our basic view is that there exists no issue of territorial sovereignty to be resolved concerning the Senkaku Islands. Therefore, Japan cannot accept any claims based on the assertions of Taiwan.

However, regardless of individual situations, we have not changed our intention to advance practical cooperation with countries and regions to achieve the peace and stability of the East China Sea.

REPORTER: I have heard that while Mr. Xi Jinping is in the U.S., he will be invited to dinner at a retreat in California. The following day there will be a talk, which means that the visit will go over two days. It seems to me that he is receiving quite special treatment. I understand that I cannot draw comparisons, but considering this special treatment the U.S. is giving China, how do you compare this to when the Japanese Prime Minister's first visited the U.S.?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I do not believe that China is receiving particularly special treatment. We have Diet sessions and talks took place between Diet sessions meaning that we had completely different time restrictions.

However, as I just said, these upcoming talks, where the leaders of the U.S. and China will engage in open discussions, will have a significant influence on the peace and stability of Asia-Pacific. Therefore I expect a positive outcome.

REPORTER: I have a question on a topic related to the Senkaku Islands. As we know, the recent visit by Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka to China triggered a number of controversies. Former Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party Koga, who accompanied Mr. Nonaka on the trip, commented earlier today at a faction meeting saying it is a big misunderstanding to say that it is Mr. Nonaka's opinion that Japan and China agreed to shelve the Senkaku Islands issue. He explained or defended Mr. Nonaka, saying that Mr. Nonaka was only reporting what he had heard during a talk given by Mr. Kakuei Tanaka and that when entering talks, Mr. Nonaka himself had never offered the shelving of the issue as a possible solution or expressed it as a personal opinion. Yesterday you said that you found these comments by Mr. Nonaka very odd. What are your thoughts now that you have heard from Mr. Koga?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We were not present at the meeting and we only heard of it through media reports, which China broadcast as breaking news. Given this, I believe that it was not only me but the majority of the public as well who found these comments odd as he had gone to China upon the invitation of the Chinese Government and had brought up a story from 40 years ago.

REPORTER: During his talk, Mr. Koga also said that in light of the situation Japan and China are currently in, meeting people and visiting old friends is all the more important. He also said that seeking a number of channels for talks and remaining humble and sincere is crucial. I believe that he is relatively satisfied with his visit to China and his comments are reflective of his desire for the party to also be humble. What are your thoughts on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We have in fact made it clear that we are always humble in diplomacy and our door is always open. I believe that conducting diplomacy through various channels and developing varying friendly relationships are positive things.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning Osprey aircraft, a topic that was also raised this morning. Following the receipt of a proposal from Osaka regarding the use of Yao Airport for Osprey exercises, you said that the Government will consider this proposal. Could you tell us more specifically what the Government's considerations may involve?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Sometime this morning we received an official proposal, and we have instructed the Ministry of Defense to earnestly deliberate on this proposal in order to reduce the burden placed on Okinawa by the U.S. military bases. By this I mean that I have asked the Ministry of Defense to communicate with the U.S. military to see if the airport is appropriate for the exercises. I gave these instructions to the Ministry of Defense.


REPORTER: 2012 statistics revealed that the number of children each woman is expected to give birth to rose for the first time in two years. On the other hand it is expected that the population will continue to decline. Could you share with us your views on this and how the Government will respond to the situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It was announced that Japan's total fertility rate was 1.41. On the other hand, the number of births was the lowest on record at 1,037,000. Given this I believe that in order to change the current trend of declining child births, our entire society must address the issue. To this end, we believe that it is necessary for all relevant ministries and agencies to work together to develop measures and ensure the steady implementation of support systems for child-rearing.


Page Top

Related Link