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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, January 30, 2014 (AM)

Press Conference by the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The issue related to the open debate at the United Nations Security Council

REPORTER: A research group comprised of members of RIKEN in Kobe City, as well other institutions, announced that it has developed new pluripotent cells, which were named "STAP cells." As STAP cells can be produced more easily than Prof. Yamanaka's iPS cells, this achievement has been globally lauded as a groundbreaking result. Would you mind sharing your comments on this?  

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: As you just noted, I understand that the STAP cells announced by RIKEN on this occasion are cells that can be differentiated into  various kinds of cells, in the same way that ES cells and iPS cells can. However, they have been created using a new technique that differs from conventional techniques. With regard to the STAP cells, at the current stage, I understand that this finding was made in mice experiments. I imagine that further research will be conducted, including investigating STAP application to human cells and elucidating the principles of cell reprogramming. I have high hopes that this research will contribute to the realization of innovative regenerative medicine in the future. In addition, this research was led by a 30-year old female scientist, and it is truly wonderful that such a young woman is  making the most of  her strengths. In any case, the Government has incorporated a budget for promoting this kind of research and development, including on regenerative medicine, and we will newly enhance the scheme. In this context, the Government will take steady steps to ensure that fundamental research continues to produce these kinds of innovative achievements, as well as steps towards the practical application of regenerative medicine, including the efforts involving iPS cells.


REPORTER: Sorry, if I may change the subject, during the debate at the UN on the 29th, I understand that a number of countries, including China and the Republic of Korea (ROK), expressed critical opinions regarding the visit to Yasukuni Shrine by the Japanese Prime Minister, among other issues. Can you once again explain to us how the Japanese Government will be asserting its views in response to these moves?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: With regard to what you just noted, as the country holding the presidency of the Security Council, Jordan held an open debate of the Security Council on January 29, local time. The purpose of the debate was to discuss how to achieve reconciliation for lasting peace based on a shared understanding of history, and what the UN's role is to this end. In this context, my understanding is that this was not a forum meant for criticizing specific countries. However, the representatives of the ROK, China, and North Korea each made statements criticizing Japan's understanding of history, among other issues. The Japanese Government finds this extremely regrettable. In addition, during the open debate of the Security Council, the representative from Japan immediately expressed Japan's deep displeasure and its intention to protest this. The position of Japan has been made clear on a number of occasions to date, and I understand that the Japanese representative carefully explained this position, giving counterarguments for all the points raised by each of the representatives.


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