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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, February 12, 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 seven written answers in response to letters of questions by Diet members, the promulgation of legislation, draft bills, as well as cabinet orders and personnel decisions. With regard to statements by ministers, the Minister for Foreign Affairs made a statement concerning the Emergency Grant Aid for Internally Displaced People Affected by the Armed Conflict in Western Iraq.

In relation to the 2010 collision involving a Chinese fishing vessel in Japanese territorial waters around of the Senkaku Islands, the Government decided to file a lawsuit this afternoon to suspend the statute of limitations for damage compensation. In filing this lawsuit, the Government plans to submit video footage as evidence supporting the validity of the Government's claim. In relation to the handling of the video footage, the Japan Coast Guard will  make the video publicly available if requested.

Led by firm determination to resolve the abduction issue with our own hands, the Abe Cabinet has made every effort with every possible measure since its inauguration. In the interest of further strengthening initiatives to resolve the abduction issue while considering the recent changes to the situation in North Korea, among other matters, of the meeting of the Headquarters on the Abduction Issue (Core Meeting) will be held this afternoon at the Prime Minister's Office. Four ministers will attend the meeting; Prime Minister Abe, who is the head of the Headquarters on the Abduction Issue; Minister in Charge of the Abduction Issue Furuya, who is the deputy head; Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida; and myself. During this meeting, the head and deputy head of the headquarters will discuss recent North Korean affairs and the responses to the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, among other matters, in order to develop a shared understanding.


  • The issues related to Cool Japan
  • The issue related to the export of arms
  • The issue related to the ministerial meeting between China and Taiwan
  • The issues related to former Prime Minister Murayama's visit to the Republic of Korea

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question in relation to Cool Japan, although it may be more of a suggestion than a question. Around this time last year the Cool Japan Promotion Council was established with the aim of reviewing measures for promoting Cool Japan and strengthening communication capacity. Although the council will be disbanded by the end of this month, so soon after it was begun, Ms. Inada has been fighting a solitary battle to promote Cool Japan herself. For example, she made a great effort to dress in young people's fashion. The Prime Minister's efforts to travel around the globe as the top salesperson for Japan clearly illustrate the fact that the promotion of Cool Japan is an extremely important task. It is therefore my opinion that there should at least be a ministerial council devoted to the task. What are your thoughts on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Abe administration considers the promotion of Cool Japan an extremely important task. So although the council will immediately be disbanded this month - or was it in March?

REPORTER: It will actually be disbanded at the end of February.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: What is more important is that we regard Cool Japan as a vital field that should be continually promoted. Therefore, I believe that, just because the council has been disbanded, it does not mean our efforts will stop.

REPORTER: Are you considering to establish some sorts of body or organization even if it is not the ministerial council?  It is my opinion that this matter requires some kind t of these..

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As you said, the Abe administration has positioned the promotion of Cool Japan as an extremely important task and we will therefore thoroughly undertake said task. I have been informed that the matter is currently being dealt with at meetings of the Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters, to which all Cabinet members attend.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning the export of arms. It has been reported in media that the ban on the export of arms to international organizations will be lifted. Could you share with us the schedule for Cabinet approval on this matter and how this discussion came about?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of the newspaper report, but the Cabinet is yet to finalize any specific direction on this matter, so I am not in a position to speak about any schedule at this point.

REPORTER: I understand that the first ministerial meeting between China and Taiwan was held. Could you share with us the Japanese Government's views?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of media reports, but I believe that the Government should not make any comment about this.

REPORTER: In relation to the Murayama Statement, which expresses remorse for Japan's colonial occupation, former Prime Minister Murayama, who is currently visiting the Republic of Korea (ROK), yesterday emphasized his recognition that the statement is a foundation for the development of Japan and that it is still  inherited today. Firstly could you share with us your views?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are aware that former Prime Minister Murayama made such a statement. The Abe Cabinet has in fact always stated that the Cabinet continues to succeed to the Murayama Statement. Therefore, I believe that in making these comments, former Prime Minister Murayama has taken our stance into full consideration as well.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question on the same topic. Former Prime Minister Murayama himself has constantly been critical of the Prime Minister's visit to Yasukuni Shrine and other such actions, and has criticized the Prime Minister's action as being detrimental to the country and unacceptable. I understand that, in addition, Mr. Murayama will hold a meeting with the members of the ruling and opposition parties of the ROK Government today. As such, does the Government have any concern that Mr. Murayama's personal views will lead to the ROK Government  to develop critical attitude against the Japanese Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I heard that former Prime Minister Murayama visited the ROK upon the invitation of the Justice Party, an opposition party. However, I believe that on behalf of the Government I should not comment on the actions of an individual.

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