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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

September 16, 2015 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: I have a question concerning the East China Sea. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan has released new photographs that show that China is continuing to engage in development operations in the East China Sea. Could you tell us the facts behind the Government’s protest with regard to this matter and other related details?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, it has been confirmed that flames are being emitted from two maritime platforms established by China in the region in the East China Sea where the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and the continental shelf between Japan and China have yet to be delimited. The Government considers that there is a high probability that these platforms are engaging in production. The Government has lodged repeated protests about this issue, and under the circumstances of pending maritime boundary delimitation in the East China Sea between Japan and China it is extremely regrettable that China is advancing unilateral development. Given that flames have been newly confirmed, the Government will be lodging a further protest to China through diplomatic channels. In Japan the Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau has lodged a protest with the Embassy of China in Tokyo and the minister-counselor for political affairs at the Embassy of Japan in Beijing has issued a protest to the minister-counselor for Asian affairs on the Chinese side.


REPORTER: On a different topic, President Putin of the Russian Federation has indicated that Russia will continue to provide military support to the administration of President Assad in Syria. The Government of the United States has requested that such assistance be stopped as such statements and actions could have the reverse effect of causing further instability in Syria. What is the Government of Japan’s view on these developments and what response will the Government be making?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of the press reports on this matter. As the Government is not in the position of being able to gain a detailed picture about the situation and developments in Syria, I would like to refrain from making any comment. In any event, the Government will continue to work closely with the United States and other countries in the international community to respond appropriately with a view to improving the situation in Syria.

REPORTER: I have a question about the issue of the continued flow of migrants into Europe, predominantly from Syria. Could you tell us about any support measures the Government is currently considering?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Government seeks to respond appropriately and robustly as a member of the international community to assist people who are subjected to discrimination, prejudice, and persecution. To this end, in order to enable swift recognition of refugees who truly require protection, excluding those who are applying for refugee status for the purposes of employment or settlement, the Ministry of Justice has conducted a review of the refugee recognition system in tandem with the review of the Fifth Basic Plan for Immigration Control, which clarifies the criteria for protection as refugees, among other matters. In any event, the Government will continue to work in cooperation with the United Nations and the international community to do what it can to provide assistance in regions in Europe and countries neighboring Syria where there are inflows of refugees.


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