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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

October 22, 2015 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: I have a question concerning United States-China relations. According to some press reports, the Obama administration is about to decide to dispatch a U.S. naval vessel and aircraft to within 12 nautical miles of the artificially reclaimed islands in the South China Sea that China asserts are part of its territorial waters under international law. Although the timing of this dispatch is still to be determined, concerns have been noted that if it goes ahead it will inevitably lead to heightened tensions between the United States and China. Could you tell us what information the Government has concerning the facts behind these press reports and the Government’s thoughts on this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from commenting on specific U.S. military operations. If I were to say anything further, it would be to note that taking unilateral actions that change the status quo and increase tensions by undertaking large-scale land reclamation or the construction of bases in the South China Sea is a matter of shared concern for the international community. The Government believes that it is extremely important for the international community to coordinate in order to preserve open, free and peaceful seas.


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