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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 17, 2015 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga
I would like to give an overview of the Cabinet meeting. The meeting approved 19 general and other measures, draft bills, cabinet orders, and personnel decisions.

At today's Cabinet meeting, approval was given to invite to Japan H.E. Ir. H. Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia, and Mrs. Iriana Joko Widodo on an Official Working Visit. President Joko Widodo will arrive in Japan on March 22 and stay until March 25. During their stay in Japan, the President and Mrs. Iriana will make a State Call on Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress will host a Court Luncheon in honor of the President and Mrs. Iriana. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, will also hold a summit meeting and host a dinner for the President. As strategic partners sharing basic values and also as maritime nations, Japan and Indonesia have contributed to the stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the international community. This will be the second summit meeting between Prime Minister Abe and President Joko Widodo, following the summit meeting in October last year after President Joko Widodo’s inauguration. Through this Official Working Visit to Japan it is expected that bilateral cooperation between our two nations will further deepen.


  • The issue concerning the Senkaku Islands
  • The issue of TPP agreement
  • The issue of the AIIB

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Senkaku Islands. Yesterday the Ministry of Foreign Affairs uploaded a map on its website published by a Chinese government organization, which shows the islands called by their Japanese name. How does the Government view the map in question, and what is the Government’s aim in publicizing it externally in this manner?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, it has been confirmed that there are materials published in the 1950s and 60s by the Chinese side on the premise that the Senkaku Islands are part of Japanese territory. The Government of Japan has been active to date in communicating information internationally regarding the Senkaku Islands, such as through posting such materials on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). This material is another one that has been newly confirmed as being published based on the premise that the Senkaku Islands are part of the territory of Japan. MOFA published this new material recently on its website regarding the Senkaku Islands from the viewpoint of indicating that China’s own assertions are completely groundless. The Government will continue to make efforts to effectively promote Japan’s interests and ensure correct understanding about this issue in the international community.

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. Over the previous week up until March 16, the Government has engaged in the Chief Negotiators’ Meeting with the 12 countries participating in the negotiations and also in bilateral consultations with the United States. However, it is viewed that little progress has been made. How does the Government view the outlook for negotiations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As you just mentioned, discussions on various areas took place at the Chief Negotiators’ Meeting. I have received a report that negotiators for individual areas also held working group meetings in parallel, with vigorous discussions taking place in order to reach a conclusion at the working level on which points a settlement could be reached. I have also received a report that although difficult issues remain, based on the progress at the recent meetings, negotiations will be further stepped up and all countries will make maximum efforts to conclude negotiations at the ministerial level, where political decisions will be made.


REPORTER: Some press reports are suggesting that Japan has decided not to participate in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Could you tell us the facts behind these reports?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As has been made clear previously, the Government maintains a cautious stance on participating in this bank, believing it to be necessary to give careful consideration to a number of points, such as whether the bank will be able to ensure fair governance, and also whether it will provide loans without regard for sustainability of debt, resulting in losses for other creditors.


REPORTER: I have a question concerning the statement to be issued on the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. According to some press reports, the Government of China has determined that it will make a decision on whether to hold a Japan-China summit meeting after thorough examination of the statement that will be issued. Currently, does the Government intend to include such words as “aggression” in the Prime Minister’s statement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As we have stated to date, there is absolutely no change to the stance that the Abe Cabinet upholds and will continue to uphold the position outlined by previous cabinets. The 70th anniversary statement will be drafted on this basis. I have also stated repeatedly that the statement will incorporate issues such as Japan’s remorse regarding WWII; the path Japan has taken as a peace-loving nation after WWII; what kinds of further contribution Japan should make to the Asia-Pacific region and to the world; and what kind of country Japan should seek to become as we head towards the 80th, 90th, and 100th anniversaries to come. In any event, the Advisory Panel on the History of the 20th Century and on Japan’s Role and the World Order in the 21st Century was launched last week. The Government will consider the content of the statement while listening to the opinions of the expert members of the panel.


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