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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, April 15, 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 four written answers in response to letters of questions by Diet members, the promulgation of legislation, draft bills, a cabinet order, and personnel decisions. With regard to statements by ministers, the Minister for Foreign Affairs made a statement concerning the treatment of the Honorable Barack H. Obama, President of the United States of America, as a state guest. The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries made a statement concerning a request for cooperation regarding the Green Fund campaign.
Today, before the Cabinet meeting, a meeting of the Ministerial Council on Prices was convened. During today’s meeting, the Ministerial Council consented to approving the appraisal policy for Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc.’s application to make changes to the supply provisions. With regard to the household electricity price hike that was applied for, the requested increase 4.95% was reduced to 3.77%, due to cost saving measures amounting to approximately 28.2 billion yen. For more information, I ask you that please direct your inquiries to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
During the Cabinet meeting on April 4, it was decided that U.S. President Barack Obama would be welcomed as a state guest. As the President’s arrival to Japan is set for the evening of April 23, it was decided that the President would be welcomed as a state guest from the evening of April 23 to the morning of April 25.


  • Possibility of research whaling
  • Talks between Mr. Hu Deping and Japanese government
  • The situation in eastern Ukraine
  • Director-lavel talks between Japan and North-Korea


REPORTER: I have a question with regard to research whaling. According to documents that the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) submitted to a U.S. court last week, the ICR hopes to carry out research whaling in the Antarctic Ocean from next season in compliance with the judgment delivered by the International Court of Justice. What is the opinion of the Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the Government will abide by the judgment as is. The Government is now studying what is stated in the judgment, and upon studying it, will decide on the policy of the Government.

REPORTER: The judgment itself does not 100% deny research whaling so is it possible that the Government may come out with a new plan, for example?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: At the current stage, the Government is carefully studying the entirety of the matter, including what the problems are as a result of the judgment. The Government will present its policy upon taking into consideration these matters. The process is still ongoing.


REPORTER: According to media reports, Prime Minister Abe held talks with Mr. Hu Deping of China, with whom you held talks on the 8th of this month. Can you please tell us if this is true?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of the media reports. I would like to refrain from answering each and every question regarding the Prime Minister’s itinerary. Mr. Hu also expressed his desire to hold a low-profile exchange of views. As such, I would like to refrain from disclosing each and every detail.


REPORTER: You also met with Mr. Hu Deping. Can you once again tell us what kind of a message Mr. Hu communicated to you or to the Japanese Government concerning the Japan-China friendship?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan explained its basic view that the Japan-China relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships for Japan. Furthermore, we explained that even if individual issues exist, we will manage them to ensure that they do not impact overall bilateral relations, and return to the basic position of a mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests. I would like to refrain from disclosing what Mr. Hu stated here. However, I will say that Mr. Hu stated that he would inform the relevant officials in his country of our views.

REPORTER: The situation in eastern Ukraine is becoming increasingly tense. Pro-Russian forces continue to barricade police stations and other facilities. What is the Japanese Government’s understanding of the current circumstances and situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the situation in eastern Ukraine is extremely grave, and we are closely following the situation with concern and apprehension. We, the Government of Japan, have been strongly urging all the parties concerned to behave with maximum self-restraint and responsibility, and to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Even now, the Japanese Government continues to strongly urge relevant countries to behave in this manner. Furthermore, the relevant ministries and agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are working to collect information. The National Security Secretariat is currently aggregating and analyzing this information. Yesterday evening as well, the directors-general of relevant ministries and agencies met and held a meeting under the leadership of Secretary General Yachi of the National Security Secretariat. With a variety of information circulating, the Japanese Government would like to refrain from making any definitive statements.

REPORTER: The U.S. Department of State has pointed out Russia’s involvement in the situation. What does the Japanese Government think about this? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Information collection is precisely what the Japanese Government is working on, and given that there is a variety of information circulating, we are currently analyzing this information.


REPORTER: Regarding Russia’s involvement, you responded that Information collection is precisely what the Japanese Government is working on. I understand that today, telephone talks between the U.S. and Russian leaders took place with the United States asserting Russia’s involvement. Has the Japanese Government not come to a conclusion yet?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: At this stage, the Japanese Government is currently collecting a variety of information, for example, whether the safety of Japanese nationals in eastern Ukraine has been confirmed. The Government is currently collecting an array of information and analyzing our responses.

REPORTER: Some parts of the media have reported that Japan-North Korea director-level talks were held in Dalian, China on the 12th and 13th, and that the two sides are expected to reach an agreement regarding the reinvestigation of abductions as early as sometime in this month. Is this true?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, I am aware of such media reports. However, there is no truth to them. In addition, I would like to refrain from commenting on each and every piece of newspaper information.   

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