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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The issue of the abductions
  • The Japan- China relations


CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I would like to report that for approximately two-and-a-half hours in the morning of October 28, talks were held with Chairman So Tae Ha of the Special Investigation Committee, together with Vice-Chairman Kim Myong Chol and Vice-Chairman Pak Yong Sik, who is also the person responsible for the various panels working under the committee. During the morning consultations, the Japanese side emphasized directly to Chairman So Tae Ha and other officials responsible that the abduction issue is of the highest priority for Japan, and requested that the investigation be conducted expeditiously and the results be relayed without delay. The meeting continued in the afternoon for approximately three hours, during which time the persons responsible for the various panels established under the Vice-Chairman to investigate the abduction victims and other persons whose whereabouts are unaccounted for provided explanations about the current status of investigations and engaged in dialogue with the Japanese delegation. During consultations today it is planned that further meetings will take place with the persons responsible for the various panels, followed by a wrap-up session that will discuss the issue overall.

REPORTER: In the wrap-up session will the delegation be raising the abduction issue once again?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Given that the abduction issue is of the highest priority for the Government of Japan, I would have thought it natural that our country’s stance would be emphasized once again in the wrap-up session.


REPORTER: Former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda is visiting China and there are reports that he is scheduled to meet with President Xi Jinping today. Is the Government aware of this meeting? Also, what expectations do you have for the kind of meeting it will be?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware that former Prime Minister Fukuda is visiting China on business relating to an organization of which he fill the role of chairman. Other than that, the Government has no further information.

REPORTER: I would like to return to the abduction issue. It would appear that the North Korean side has indicated that during the second day of consultations today it plans to provide notification of the results of the comprehensive investigations that have been carried out with regard to the issue of the remains of Japanese nationals. The Government has repeatedly stated that the remains of Japanese nationals in North Korea and the whereabouts of the abduction victims are a top priority for Japan, so will the delegation be prepared to listen to such a notification, if it is made? Can I ask for your thoughts on this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any event, the Japanese delegation has stated strongly and directly to the North Korean side that the abduction issue is top priority for Japan. As issues relating to the remains and the graves of Japanese nationals are also being dealt with in the panels that have been established under the auspices of the Special Investigation Committee, it is only natural to assume that a report will be received. The Government would like to receive a full and proper report after the delegation has returned to Japan.

REPORTER: I have a related question. You have just stated that the delegation will receive the report from the panel investigating remains of Japanese nationals. However, can we understand that even if such a report is received, it will not be considered as the first notification from the committee itself?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: No, such a report would not be considered in that light.

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