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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 29, 2016 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: I have a question regarding the Japan-China vice foreign ministerial-level talks that took place today. Can you please explain the items of discussion on which progress was made, as well as the Government’s views regarding the talks?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, today, dialogue took place between the Japanese and Chinese diplomatic authorities in Tokyo. From the Japanese side, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Shinsuke Sugiyama attended, and from the Chinese side, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Kong Xuanyou attended. In any case, I have not been briefed on the talks as they have just ended. I understand that meaningful exchanges of views took place regarding the ways to deepen Japan-China relations, our common challenges such as the issues of North Korea, and the issues between Japan and China.

REPORTER: It seems the two sides also made optimistic remarks about holding a Japan-China foreign ministers’ meeting. Since North Korea’s nuclear test in January, China has not responded to Japan’s request for a foreign ministers’ telephone talk. Do you have the impression that there has been a change in the response of the Chinese side?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I have not been briefed regarding this, but since holding the Japan-China-ROK Summit, I consider that Japan and China have been able to coordinate with each other to a great extent.


REPORTER: Today, a new captain was appointed for the escort vessel Yamagiri at the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) Yokosuka Naval Base. The appointment is garnering much attention as she is the first female captain to be appointed for an escort vessel in service. Can you please share your opinion?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Today, Commander Miho Otani of the MSDF was appointed Captain of the escort vessel Yamagiri, becoming the first female captain of an escort vessel. Realizing a society in which all women shine is one of the top priorities of the Abe Cabinet. We consider this to be a critical pillar for realizing a society in which all citizens are dynamically engaged. Within the Self-Defense Forces, a variety of measures are also being promoted to expand opportunities for women to play active roles. We expect that the appointment of a female SDF personnel to captain will further expand the opportunities for female SDF personnel to play active roles.

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