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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 8, 2016 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

1. Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

H.E. Mr. Taur Matan Ruak, President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, and his spouse will pay a Working Visit to Japan during March 13 (Sunday) to 16 (Wednesday). During their stay in Japan, the President and his spouse will be received in audience by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, will also hold a summit meeting with the President as well as host a dinner. Timor-Leste is an ally country that shares core values with Japan, and Japan has consistently assisted country building in Timor-Leste even prior to its independence. The Government of Japan hopes the visit will further strengthen the friendly and close future-oriented relations between Japan and Timor-Leste.

2. Q&As


REPORTER: Mr. Takeshi Onaga, the Governor of Okinawa Prefecture, suggested at the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly today that he could still exercise his authority as Governor to prevent the transfer even if Okinawa loses to the Government in the lawsuit to eliminate the revision directive. Specifically, he mentioned not accepting approval requests for design changes and other matters. Please explain your view. 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Both sides agreed to the settlement provisions and should proceed in accordance with the provisions. While the comment might be taking into account a possible loss, the Government nevertheless intends to faithfully abide by the decision and settlement provisions. This is the arrangement, and I do not understand his reasoning for the comment.


REPORTER: I have a question about Japan-China relations. Mr. Wang Yi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, commented at his press conference today regarding Japan-China relations that some signs of improvement are appearing, though not enough to be optimistic. He then cited Japan’s view of China as the reason for this situation, particularly in terms of whether the Japanese administration views China as a friend and partner or as an enemy and rival. Does Japan see China as a friend and partner or as an enemy and rival? I would like to know your view.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan and China have already conducted Summit Meetings and confirmed relations between the two countries multiple times. As confirmed at the Summit Meetings, both countries are major countries with significant responsibilities for the promotion of global peace and prosperity and intend to continue to move forward based on a mutually beneficial strategic relationship. Nothing has changed, and Japan maintains its stance of always having the door open to dialogue.

REPORTER: This is related. During the same press conference, Foreign Minister Wang Yi noted that Japanese leaders are a classic example of two-faced people who call for improvement of Japan-China relations but are always looking for things that cause trouble for China. While I think this comment refers to Japan’s stance regarding the South China Sea issue, do you have some type of rebuttal of this point by the Foreign Minister?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It comes down to the rule of law. Are not all ASEAN countries aiming for democracy and rule of law? Any country should say what ought to be said regarding unilateral efforts to dominate by force. That is the international rule.


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