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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, March 27, 2014 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The Director-General-Level consultations of Foreign Ministries of Japan and Korea
  • The relocation of Futenma Air Station


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning consultations that the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) are considering, involving director-general-level representatives of the foreign ministries of both countries. Could you please inform us of the status of considerations with regard to the timetable and agenda items for the meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I am aware that the Japanese Government and the ROK Government are making arrangements, but I believe that at this point in time, nothing specific has been decided.

REPORTER: You just said that arrangements are currently ongoing, but some parts of the media reported that the ROK Government would like to have the meeting in mid-April. Am I right to assume that arrangements are being made with this kind of timeframe in mind?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the fact is that, to date, Japan and the ROK have been communicating on multiple levels through various routes regarding the issues of concern between our two countries. As I just said, the two countries are in fact making arrangements via diplomatic routes, but as yet, nothing specific has been decided.

REPORTER: In relation to the agenda items for the meeting, I believe that the ROK would surely raise the issue of comfort women. For the Japanese side the Takeshima issue is also a matter of concern. I believe many such issues exist between Japan and the ROK but do you have any plans or intentions to discuss them?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Rather than this being a matter of intentions, it is the case that there are some issues between our two countries. Therefore, we have in fact been making various arrangements to date, including arrangements related to such issues, through a variety of routes.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning the relocation of Futenma Air Station. Today, the Okinawa Defense Bureau announced public tenders for a survey of the sea floor, which will involve boring, off the coast of Nago in preparation for the relocation of the air station to Henoko in Nago City. The sea floor survey actually began in 2004, but local residents who were against the construction of the new base organized protests using fishing vessels and other means, and eventually forced the surveyors to stop their work. Bearing this in mind, what measures is the Government planning to take?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the Government recently obtained approval for the landfill from Governor Nakaima to construct a replacement facility for Futenma Air Station. The Government will continue to do everything possible to truly reduce the burden placed on Okinawa and at the same time do everything we can to carry out the return of Futenma Air Station as soon as possible. To achieve this, we will firmly continue our efforts to move forward with the relocation to Henoko.



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