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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, February 6, 2014 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The issue related to Japan-the United States relations
  • The issue related to Japan-Republic of Korea relations

REPORTER: Tomorrow, at the same time as the Prime Minister is away on an overseas visit, Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida will also be abroad, visiting the United States. He will hold a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry. Could you tell us the purpose of this meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I have not yet heard all the details. I received a report that final arrangements are being made. However as I was in a committee meeting, I am not aware of developments after that.

REPORTER: I have a question with regard to Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) relations. In response to questions in the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors this morning, Prime Minister Abe expressed a positive stance, stating that, "We are not simply waiting inside the door to dialogues, but rather we also seek to actively go beyond that door and continue to make  efforts to realize exchanges at the political level." Does the Government intend to start making specific coordination efforts towards the realization of a future Japan-ROK summit meeting? What kind of efforts will the Government be making to prepare an environment for a summit meeting? If you have any thoughts on this matter, could you share them with us?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe that the situation is exactly as the Prime Minister just stated. The ROK is Japan's most important neighboring country with whom we share fundamental interests. Furthermore, friendly relations between Japan and the ROK are essential, not only for the two countries themselves, but also for the peace and prosperity of East Asia. In the recent Budget Committee meeting, the Prime Minister stated that no matter what difficult issues we may face, we must work together to build a future-oriented cooperative relations from a broad perspective. In that sense, he stated that it is precisely when issues do exist that it is important for leaders to en gage in open dialogue, and pointed out that Japan is ready to do this. That is what I believe the Prime Minister meant.


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