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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, August 28, 2014 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The relation between Japan and ROK
  • The former Prime Minister’s visit to China as a chairman of Boao Forum for Asia

REPORTER: There are press reports that a Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) vice-ministerial meeting could be held as early as September. Could you tell us the status of arrangements for this meeting and what the aim is in holding it?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of articles in the press about this matter but I have received a report that at the current point nothing has been decided.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Although nothing has been decided, we are facing a situation in which there is a need to improve Japan-ROK relations. What are the Government’s views on a summit meeting between the two countries?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It goes without saying that the ROK is an important neighboring country that shares the same values as Japan. It is only natural, therefore, that a variety of meetings should be held between the two countries, including the recent Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers’ meeting and director-general-level meetings. Nothing, however, has been decided with regard to the meeting you mentioned in your question.

REPORTER: In a speech made yesterday former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda admitted that he had held a meeting with President Xi Jinping of China. What is the view of the Government with regard to this meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government was aware that former Prime Minister Fukuda was visiting China on business relating to the Boao Forum for Asia, of which he serves as Chairman. However, the Government was not aware of the details of Mr. Fukuda’s schedule during his stay in China. If Mr. Fukuda did indeed make such a statement then that is what he said. The Government was not aware of it.

REPORTER: Mr. Fukuda has expressed expectations about the possibility of a future Japan-China summit meeting being held. What are your views concerning the process leading to such a meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Given that China and Japan are the world’s second and third-largest economies, it is precisely because issues do exist between our two countries that we should engage in discussions. The Government’s door is always open for dialogue and we have consistently maintained a policy of seeking to build a mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests. I have received a report that Mr. Fukuda noted yesterday that his meeting with President Xi Jinping was his own choice. In any case, I believe that it is important for discussions to take place without any preconditions.

REPORTER: On a related note, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting is scheduled to be held in November. Is the Government looking to hold a summit meeting at that time?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As the APEC summit is being held in China this year, I would have thought that it would be only natural for China as the host nation to hold meetings with the various economies attending.

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