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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, February 3, 2014 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The issue related to U.S. President Obama's visit to Japan
  • The issue related to the nuclear secret agreement
  • The issue related to the overseas visit to Secretary General Yachi of the National Security Secretariat
  • The issues related to a Cabinet Office official found dead in the Sea of Japan
  • The issue related to the sabotage activities of The anti-whaling group


REPORTER: Today's Korea Joongang Daily reported that while the Japanese Government requested President Obama to pay a two-night, three-day state visit to Japan, the United States replied that President Obama would only stay one night in Japan, and then leave for the Republic of Korea (ROK). Is this true?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of the report. However, as I have stated before, nothing has been decided yet.

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the nuclear secret agreement. During the meeting of the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives on Friday, the Prime Minister said it was a mistake that the public had not been informed about the existence of the agreement, and that the Government would be presenting its views on this matter. What are the views of the Government? When and how will you be expressing them?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As the Prime Minister made these remarks publicly, the Government will be examining how this matter will be handled, in accordance with the Prime Minister's remarks.

REPORTER: Regarding Secretary General Yachi of the National Security Secretariat, it has been reported in media that the Japanese Government approached Chinese and ROK authorities respectively concerning the Secretary General's visit to the two countries. Is this true?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Secretary General is expected to establish close communications with his counterparts in relevant countries, based on the instructions of the Prime Minister. In this context, I believe that from shortly after assuming his position, Secretary General Yachi has been visiting relevant countries, including the United States, and has accomplished many things. With that said, I would like to refrain from responding about the individual specific arrangements.


REPORTER: I would like to ask about the matter involving a Cabinet Office official. The body was found on the side of the Sea of Japan over the weekend and it turned out that he was an official of the Cabinet Office who was visiting the ROK. There is not much information on this. What information is the Government aware of?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, I have been informed that he was an official of the Cabinet Office. I think that this incident is very sad and regrettable. This official was studying in the United States. As part of his research, he wished to attend an economics seminar which was to be held in the ROK. He submitted his request to the Cabinet Office in advance, and had received approval. As this was not an ordinary business trip, generally such officials would have been required to submit a research report afterwards, including the outcomes of having attended the seminar as part of their research during their overseas studies.

REPORTER: You said that economics was the topic of this seminar. What kind of seminar was this? Is it correct to understand that he actually attended the seminar?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: If you would like to know the details, please ask the Cabinet Office. As to what the seminar was about, I think it was about recent economic crises that have caused unemployment in Japan and the crises' impact on immigrants. I have been informed that the seminar was from the 8th to the 12th.


REPORTER: Sorry, a question regarding a different matter. The anti-whaling group, the Sea Shepherd, sabotaged Japanese survey vessels conducting activities in the Antarctic Ocean, and a section on the hull of one of the vessels has been damaged. What are the Government's views and responses, if any?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The group sabotaged three Japanese survey vessels, including the Yushin Maru, through acts such as throwing a rope at and nearly colliding with the vessels. As a result, the rope got caught on the propeller of the Yushin Maru, and the Yushin Maru No. 3 sustained damage to its hull. I believe that these sabotage activities themselves are extremely dangerous acts, and should never be condoned. The Government of Japan is requesting the Netherlands, the country in which the Sea Shepherd's vessel is registered, to take effective measures.

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