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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, February 6, 2014 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The issue related to the South China Sea
  • The issue related to the Japan-Russia relations


REPORTER: In an interview with the New York Times, President Benigno S. Aquino III of the Philippines likened China's advance into the South China Sea to Nazi Germany. These comments by the President were criticized by Xinhua News Agency of China, which stated that the President is an "amateurish politician who was ignorant both of history and reality." What are the thoughts of the Government of Japan with regard to the comments by President Aquino and the reaction from China?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As these are communications made by third party countries, in principle I would like to refrain from making any comment. If I were to say anything further, it would be to note that issues relating to the South China Sea are of common interest to the international community as they have an impact on the maritime order. Therefore, I believe all nations concerned should refrain from unilateral actions that escalate tensions and should adhere to such laws as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, ensuring that their own assertions have a clear basis in international law. Furthermore, I believe that it is important to seek to resolve issues peacefully, through dialogue.

REPORTER: Regarding the topic of Japan-Russia relations, how does the Government intend to advance bilateral cooperation in the areas of the economy and energy?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In the first summit meeting between Prime Minister Abe and President Putin, there was a request for economic cooperation. Based on this request, Japan is currently pushing ahead thoroughly to respond to the commitment that was made at that time. Furthermore, through such summit meetings, the Government seeks to respond firmly, while removing any obstacles that remain.

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