Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  September 2013 >  Thursday, September 5, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, September 5, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The Postponement of the Cabinet reshuffle
  • Tokyo's bid to host the Olympics and the contaminated water issue
  • Japan-ROK relations
  • Japan-U.S. summit meeting on the sidelines of G20

REPORTER: The Prime Minister has expressed his intention not to reshuffle the Cabinet and to have the key senior officials of the Liberal Democratic Party stay in their positions. What should be my understanding in terms of how long this lineup will be kept? In other words, will it be until the end of the ordinary session of the Diet or will it be until the compilation of the budget?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: By common sense, I believe it will be through the end of the ordinary session of the Diet.

REPORTER: In this connection, what was the reason that the Prime Minister arrived at this conclusion to maintain the existing lineup?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The current Cabinet was launched on December 26 of last year. Considering this, I believe a certain length of time is needed to really delve into the work and get the work done. The Prime Minister has determined that the Cabinet that created the budget is responsible for seeing things through until it is passed. In a sense, I believe it is natural to think this way.


REPORTER: During the first press conference held by Tokyo's Olympic bid committee in Buenos Aires, the committee was hit with a series of questions from the foreign media regarding contaminated water and the nuclear power station accident. Can you please share the thoughts of the Government regarding this? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any case, as I have repeatedly stated with regard to the contaminated water issue, the Government has made it clear that in order to resolve this issue quickly, it will collect technologies and knowhow and stand at the forefront in tackling this issue. With regard to Tokyo's bid to host the Olympics, the Government will offer full explanations that the contaminated water issue does not warrant any concerns.

REPORTER: Regarding a different matter, if I may ask once again, on the subject of the Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) relationship, what is the Government's view concerning the fact that a summit meeting has still not taken place? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It is the Government's basic stance that Japan and the ROK are critically important for the peace and stability of Far East Asia, including the response to the North Korea issue, and that the two countries are key neighbors which should cooperate with each other. While there exist difficult issues between Japan and the ROK, in a sense, precisely because they are neighboring countries, I believe it is essential that the two countries build a stable bilateral relationship from a broad perspective. The Government looks forward to steadily developing our cooperative relationship for the sake of regional and global stability. In July, the Japan-ROK foreign ministers' meeting was held. Following this, a meeting was held at the vice-ministerial level. At this time, I believe it is important that the two countries strive to maintain communication on a variety of levels.  

REPORTER: Related to the previous question, as you just stated, I believe advance consultations have taken place at the vice-ministerial and other levels. However, as of this moment, what is the outlook for holding a meeting between the two leaders?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: A foreign ministers' meeting has been held, and what is important at this time is that such meetings are held at the working-level. I believe there are no urgent outstanding issues which require a summit meeting to be held immediately.

REPORTER: I understand that a summit meeting between the Japanese Prime Minister and President Obama of the U.S. is expected to be scheduled on the sidelines of the G20. I had understood that telephone talks were held the other day as time would not permit the leaders to meet during the G20. What were the circumstances which led to the scheduling of this meeting? What will the two leaders discuss during the meeting, including the situation in Syria? Was there a change of circumstances on the part of the U.S.? If you can please explain these points.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Regarding the Japan-U.S. summit meeting, it has been decided that a summit meeting will be held from 2:50 pm local time or 7:50 pm Japan time. The Government believes it is critically important that the international community as one voice sends out a message that the use of chemical weapons in the context of the Syria issue is not permissible under any circumstances, and that also in connection with countries such as North Korea, chemical weapons shall never ever be used again. We believe it is important that the countries concerned, including the U.S. and Russia, discuss this with a view to improving the situation in Syria, including the grave humanitarian situation. Furthermore, in response to your question regarding the Japan-U.S. summit meeting, telephone talks between the two leaders were originally held as both leaders were unable to set aside sufficient time for the meeting on the occasion of the G20. Following the telephone talks, there was a change in circumstances and the U.S. proposed to hold a summit meeting. Therefore, it was decided that while time would be limited, a summit meeting will be arranged and held in St. Petersburg.


Page Top

Related Link