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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 24, 2015 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Japan’s global outreach efforts
  • Freedom of the press and freedom of expression


REPORTER: I would like to change the subject to one that also relates to the exchanges between Japan and China at the United Nations Security Council which I asked about this morning. With this being the milestone year marking 70 years after the end of World War II, it is expected that countries, including China and the Republic of Korea, will wage a vigorous propaganda war or intensify their sparring over their respective assertions regarding the recognition of history, among other matters. How will the Japanese Government be communicating Japan’s assertions to the international community? Or what are your intentions with regard to strengthening your international outreach efforts? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, over the 70 years following World War II, Japan has built up a peaceful, free, and democratic nation, and by extending support, has contributed to the further development of neighboring countries, including developing countries in Asia. Japan has contributed to peace and prosperity in the world, and we would like to continue to do so, while calling for international peace and prosperity. By making use of our various frameworks for global outreach efforts, we hope to fully communicate the path Japan has followed as well as a true and accurate image of Japan. We hope to raise awareness about Japan’s diversity and attractiveness while increasing the number of countries with affinity for Japan. In this sense, we consider it important that the whole of Japan is engaged in this effort going forward, including the Government, private companies, and local governments. Our outreach efforts will take into account local needs. Furthermore, we will steadily carry out global outreach efforts by making active use of “Japan Houses” to be able to provide a one-stop source for information on Japan.  


REPORTER: If I may, I would like to ask about something from a little while ago. At the beginning of this month, following the incident involving the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL), freelance journalists and writers issued a statement suggesting that there had been an increasing movement among the media to refrain from criticizing the administration. According to some people, the media worries that criticizing the administration would make it difficult to conduct interviews, and therefore, the media is essentially being subject to tacit pressure from the Government. What is the Government’s view regarding this opinion?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the Government views that there is maximum respect for the freedom of the press and freedom of expression, which have been guaranteed under the Constitution. In Japan, I gather that uninhibited opinions regarding policies are being expressed from a variety of positions at the Diet and through works of journalism. Just the other day, I saw a person practicing this on TV. The person was criticizing the Government with regard to the ISIL incident. At a TV station, this person talked openly and at length about what posed a truly imminent danger to human lives and things which were entirely contrary to the truth, speaking as if he had first-hand observations. As such cases demonstrate, I believe freedom is fully guaranteed in Japan, although I do think there may also be misunderstandings.

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