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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

September 11, 2015 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: I have a question relating to the Senkaku Islands. Although the islands were nationalized three years ago today, China not only continues to repeatedly violate Japan’s territorial waters near the islands, they are also strengthening their claims of sovereignty over them. How does the Government intend to respond to this situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have stated many times before, the Senkaku Islands are an integral part of Japan’s territory. There is absolutely no doubt that this is true both historically and in terms of international law, and the islands are in fact under the valid control of Japan. There is therefore absolutely no question relating to the territorial sovereignty of the islands. It is extremely regrettable that the Chinese side continues to violate Japan’s territorial waters. The Government is working with a sense of urgency, together with relevant ministries and agencies to guard and protect Japan’s territory, waters, and airspace. The Government intends to continue to respond in a calm and resolute manner. 

REPORTER: As part of their propaganda offensive, the other day China opened a Sovereignty Exhibition Hall with the aim of promoting the idea domestically that China has sovereignty over the islands. How does the Government view this, and does the Government intend to lodge a protest?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I don’t know what kind of facility it is, but as I have just stated, there is no question regarding Japan’s sovereignty over the islands. The Government intends to robustly assert this stance, both to China and the global community. 


REPORTER: I have a question about the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon. He attended the recently held 70th anniversary commemoration of China’s victory over Japan, and Prime Minister Abe stated that it was “regrettable” at the House of Councillors Special Committee on Legislation for the Peace and Security of Japan and the International Community. Do you think that when the Japanese Government selects individuals for the role of Secretary General in future they ought to select people without political bias?  

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Whatever the case may be, the Secretary-General of the United Nations naturally must be neutral, impartial, and fair, so when we received information that the Secretary General may attend the ceremony in China, we lodged strong protests.


REPORTER: In recent days, countries in Europe have been busy with their response to refugees from the Middle East and Africa. I imagine there is a possibility that the global community will appeal to Japan to accept some refugees. What will the Government’s stance on this issue be?  

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, there has not as yet been any such appeal from the EU. Generally speaking, Japan has been working together with the global community in efforts to address issues relating to refugees. We intend to do what we can to provide a robust response to the issue of refugees moving into Europe, the countries surrounding Syria, and other regions, by working together with those countries and regions and the broader global community to provide support to refugees through continuing to provide support to refugee camps and through a variety of other initiatives.

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