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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 4, 2015 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • China’s defense budget
  • The Senkaku Islands


REPORTER: I have a question regarding China’s defense budget. A short while ago, China announced that its defense budget would increase by around 10% this year compared to last year. How does the Japanese Government regard this figure?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, through last year, China has recorded nearly double-digit increases year-on-year. The Japanese Government is mindful that there is inadequate transparency. As defense spending in 2015 and other items have not been formally announced yet, we will continue to monitor the relevant trends.

REPORTER: I have a related question. What impact do you think China’s rising defense spending will have on the security environment in the Asia-Pacific region, including for Japan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Irrespective of China’s defense spending or anything else related to China, it is true that the regional security environment surrounding Japan is severe due to a variety of factors. In addition to building up Japan’s own diplomatic and defense efforts, for Japan it is critically important that we contribute to peace and stability, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region, by of course steadily strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance, as well as other efforts.

REPORTER: My question slightly overlaps with your response. To address the changes in the security environment brought about by China’s military buildup, does the Abe administration see a need to increase deterrence by strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance and other such efforts?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It is as I just explained. As things currently stand, the security environment surrounding Japan is becoming increasingly severe due to a variety of factors, irrespective of anything occurring in China. In this context, Japan of course needs to engage in diplomatic efforts. It is also important that we steadily build up the relationship of trust we enjoy under the Japan-U.S. alliance.      

REPORTER: Today, the State Oceanic Administration of China unveiled Japanese and English versions of a website regarding the Diaoyu Islands, which are known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan. Did you have a look at the website? What is Japan’s comment on this website?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Today, Japanese and English versions of the website were launched. The Senkaku Islands are an inherent part of the territory of Japan, in light of historical facts, as well as diplomacy. Indeed, the Senkaku Islands are under the valid control of Japan. In light of this, Japan lodged a strong protest with China through diplomatic channels when this website was established at the end of last year. We urged China to delete the website immediately. Once again, we have lodged a strong protest.

REPORTER: What channels did you utilize this time to launch the protest?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Counselor of the Embassy of Japan in China made representations to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.

REPORTER: I apologize for my repeated questions. On this website, it is stated that the Diaoyu Islands were first discovered and named by China. What is your take on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: China has distorted the facts and merely reiterates its own unilateral assertions. That is how Japan perceives the content. The Japanese Government does not consider this content to be acceptable in any way.


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