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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, January 31, 2014 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to give an overview of the Cabinet meeting. The meeting approved three measures, including one general measure, as well as draft bills, cabinet orders, and personnel decisions. With regard to statements by ministers, the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications made a statement concerning the results of the labor force survey, the consumer price index, and the results of the household budget survey. The Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare made a statement concerning the national ratio of jobs to applicants for December 2013.

In ministerial discussions following the Cabinet meeting, Minister Mori made a statement concerning enhancing the recruitment and promotion of female national public servants at ministries and agencies and other related measures.

I would like to inform you about the holding of the Information Security Month. While we enjoy the benefits of recent remarkable advancements in information and communications technology in our lives, information security threats are growing ever larger, including the frequent outbreaks of increasingly complex and sophisticated cyber attacks. In light of this, in order to raise the interest of each member of the public in information security and encourage him/ her to take appropriate responses, the Government will designate February as "Information Security Month," and will implement an array of measures through cooperation between public-private sectors. On "Cyber Security Day" on February 3, the Government will hold a kick-off symposium to deepen understanding regarding cyber security. For more information regarding this initiative, please contact National Information Security Center.


  • The issues related to the Angouleme International Comics Festival in France
  • The issue related to avian influenza


REPORTER: At the Angouleme International Comics Festival in France, the Government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) exhibited a work about the comfort women issue. Could you please tell us what you think about this and how the Japanese Government will address this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, I have been briefed by on-site officials from the Japanese Embassy in France, and am aware of this matter. This festival is organized by the private sector for the purpose of promoting international cultural exchange, deepening mutual understanding, and fostering friendship through comics. It is extremely regrettable that the current situation is contrary to the purpose of the festival. The Government of Japan hopes that the festival will be held in accordance with its purpose.

REPORTER: Has the Government taken any responses as of this moment in time, such as asserting Japan's stance?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government is deeply concerned that the holding of an exhibition on comfort women under the leadership of the ROK Government will largely undermine the purpose of this festival, which is organized by the private sector and is intended to deepen mutual understanding and foster friendship. At an appropriate location at the comics festival venue, we have also made materials available about Japan's position and the efforts we have made to date with regard to the comfort women issue, in English, French, and Korean. In addition, officials from the Japanese Embassy in France are on site to provide explanations as appropriate regarding the materials, primarily to members of the press and other related parties. Furthermore, Ambassador Suzuki held a press conference in Paris on the 29th. Japan is asserting its position in a clear and thorough manner.

REPORTER: I have a related question. It seems that the organizer of this comics festival determined that Japan's comic on the comfort women issue was political and the ROK's was not. What is your opinion on this, Chief Cabinet Secretary?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I stated, this festival is, first of all, organized by the private sector, and promotes international cultural exchange and mutual friendship through comics. The Japanese Government hopes that the festival will be held in line with such purposes and we made such a request to the secretariat. In any case, with regard to the nature of exhibitions by private entities, I believe this is an issue that should be worked out between the secretariat and said private entities.

REPORTER: I have a question regarding avian influenza. It has been reported that avian influenza is spreading in the ROK. There have also been a number of deaths in China, albeit from a different strain. What is the Government doing to prevent the spread of infections to Japan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: To prepare against the avian influenza that is spreading in the ROK, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) immediately asked relevant agencies to ensure that those in the Japanese livestock industry are fully aware of the situation surrounding the outbreak of this disease in the ROK and other neighboring countries. MAFF also asked the relevant agencies to provide those in the industry with thorough guidance, including warnings regarding this disease, ensuring their compliance with hygiene management standards, and early detection and notification of outbreaks. Furthermore, as the outbreak in the ROK also raises concerns about the spread of the disease to Japan via migratory birds and other means, the Ministry of the Environment has strengthened its nation-wide surveillance system for wild birds. We will continue to conduct thorough exchanges of information among the relevant ministries and agencies and make every effort to stop the spread of the disease into Japan and to prevent any outbreak.

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