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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

October 23, 2015 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga




REPORTER: Yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia released a comment criticizing the documents relating to the internment in Siberia that Japan submitted for inscription on the Memory of the World Register of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), stating that the documents were based on distorted explanations of World War II. Can you please explain the view of the Japanese Government and its responses going forward?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, our submission was made with the understanding and cooperation of Maizuru City’s sister city, Nakhodka. In this context, the documents have worldwide importance from a broad perspective. Through this process, the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO nominated the documents. In no way was the submission for inscription used for political purposes. In addition, before the submission, Maizuru City officials explained to Russia the background and purpose of the submission through the Russian Consulate General in Osaka. Therefore, Russia had advance knowledge of our submission. Japan will explain its position to Russia. We will carefully explain that what you referred to does not hold true.


REPORTER: I have a question related to Russia. Yesterday, the Minister of Defence of Russia stated that a large-scale military facility would be built on the Kuril Islands, which likely includes the Northern Territories. In this regard, can you please tell us the responses of the Japanese Government and its opinion regarding the impact on overall Japan-Russia relations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am not aware of how exactly this was worded. In any case, Japan’s position has not changed at all. The Northern Territories are inherent territories of Japan. As such, if such a thing should happen, Japan will steadily lodge protests as a matter of course.


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