Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  January 2014 >  Monday, January 20, 2014 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, January 20, 2014 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

A Drill for Countermeasures against Novel Influenza and Other Diseases will be conducted tomorrow. As part of this drill, following the Cabinet meeting the Prime Minister and other Cabinet ministers will take part in the training organized by the government response headquarters. The drill will be conducted based on a scenario in which countermeasures are required in Japan in response to the mutation of avian influenza into a novel form of influenza overseas. This will be the first time for Cabinet ministers to attend the training following the entry into force of the Act on Special Measures for Countermeasures against Novel Influenza and Other Diseases. The training on this occasion will not only be attended by central government personnel; rather, for the first time, communication training exercises involving every prefecture, as well as designated public institutions, will be held. In addition, in some prefectures there are also plans to implement training in the field. The Government views countermeasures against novel influenza and other diseases as a serious issue for national crisis management. Furthermore, in addition to implementing this training, the Government plans to continue to work to further enhance countermeasures.


  • The issues related to Japan-China relations
  • The issue related to dolphin hunts

REPORTER: China's gross domestic product (GDP) for 2013 was announced today. It has grown to approximately double that of Japan, standing at around 980 trillion yen. In the course of the three years since China overtook Japan in terms of GDP in 2010, the difference between the countries has grown to this scale. Can I ask for your views on this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, China is Japan's largest trading partner. Furthermore, there are more Japanese companies in the Chinese market than companies of any other country. As such, Japan-China economic relations are extremely close and mutually interdependent. In addition, as the second and third-largest economic powers in the world, Japan and China's economic relations have an impact on the global economy as a whole. Since 2012 economic relations between Japan and China have remained strained. However, the stance of the Government of Japan is that even if individual issues exist, we will do our best to ensure that these do not impact overall bilateral relations. Moreover our stance is to further develop relations in accordance with our concept of the mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests. In that regard, the Government hopes to promote cooperation and exchange in a wide range of areas, including the economy. Whatever the case, I believe the Government will continue to monitor trends in the Chinese economy with interest.

REPORTER: You just mentioned Japan's stance of not letting matters impact the overall economy. With regard to economic matters in particular, specifically what kinds of measures is the Government adopting in order to overcome the various issues of concern that are currently facing Japan-China relations and ensure that they do not impact the economy?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There is absolutely no change to the basic stance of the Government. Namely, even if individual issues arise, these should not serve as reasons for halting events. Instead we seek to promote bilateral relations from a broad perspective, while demonstrating that our door is always open for dialogue and placing importance on the mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests.

REPORTER: The Ambassador of the United States to Japan Ms. Caroline Kennedy sent out a message on Twitter over the weekend stating, "Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing. (U.S. Government) opposes drive hunt fisheries." Can I ask for the views of the Government with regard to this message and whether any confirmation has been made, as well the stance of the Government on this issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Government believes that cetaceans, including dolphins, are an important marine resource and should be used sustainably based on scientific evidence. In addition, dolphin fishing is one of the traditional fishing practices of Japan and I understand it is conducted appropriately based on laws and ordinances. Furthermore, dolphins are not subject to management by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and management responsibility lies with each country. Whatever the case, the Government would like to explain Japan's stance to the Government of the United States.


Page Top

Related Link