Friday, August 10, 2012 (AM)
Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)
Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura
- An overview of the Cabinet meeting
- The Ministerial Meeting Relating to Remuneration of National Public Servants
- The appointment of a new Secretary General of the Consumer Affairs Agency
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I would first like to give an overview of the Cabinet meeting. The meeting approved 10 general and other measures as well as a cabinet order and personnel decisions. With regard to statements by ministers, the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications made a statement concerning the National Personnel Authority's (NPA) report and advisory regarding the remuneration of national public servants in regular service.
Next, I would like to speak about the meeting of the Ministerial Meeting Relating to Remuneration of National Public Servants, which was held before the Cabinet meeting today. On August 8, an advisory was received from NPA regarding the revision of the remuneration of national public servants. Today, a meeting of the Ministerial Meeting Relating to Remuneration of National Public Servants was held to initiate the review on the handling of this fiscal year's NPA advisory. At today's meeting, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications explained the NPA advisory, and based on this, discussions were started on the handling of the remuneration of national public servants. The meeting has decided to further review the handling of the NPA advisory, in light of the various situations. The next meeting of the Ministerial Meeting was decided to be held at an appropriate time based on the scheduling arrangements among the relevant ministers.
Also, regarding a personnel decision about which a material has been distributed to you, I would like to explain about a personnel decision which was made at today's Cabinet meeting with regard to the Consumer Affairs Agency. The term of office of Secretary General of the Consumer Affairs Agency Hirohiko Fukushima expires effective today, August 10. A decision was made to appoint Secretary General of the National Liaison Committee of Consumer Organisations (SHODANREN) Hisa Anan to replace Mr. Fukushima.
- Press reports on President Lee Myung-bak of the ROK's plan to visit Takeshima
- The anniversary of the end of the war on August 15 (a question concerning any visits to Yasukuni Shrine by Cabinet members)
REPORTER: President Lee Myung-bak of the Republic of Korea (ROK) is anticipated to land on Takeshima. Can you share your thoughts on this as well as your thoughts on what impacts this will have on Japan-ROK relations?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: We are now confirming the facts regarding the matter which you raised. Should the news about the visit turn out to be true, then this runs counter to Japan's position on the Takeshima issue and we find the visit extremely regrettable. Japan has already lodged a strong protest to the ROK urging them to cancel the visit. If the ROK President indeed visits Takeshima, this is then very regrettable and highly deplorable - all the more so as Japan was striving to develop future-oriented bilateral relations as Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced at the Japan-ROK summit meeting in December of last year. We strongly urge the ROK to exercise self-restraint.
REPORTER: If the President visits or lands on Takeshima, what kind of actions do you specifically intend to take to express protest, including recalling the Japanese Ambassador from the ROK?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: At this point in time, I would like to refrain from speculating about what responses we will be taking in the future. In any event, there is no mistake that Japan will clearly convey to the ROK that what is unacceptable is unacceptable.
REPORTER: What is your analysis of the implications that President Lee intends to visit Takeshima at this timing?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: We would like to refrain from making inferences or statements on the intentions or the implications of the ROK.
REPORTER: You said a moment ago that the Government is confirming the facts. While it seems that an advance announcement was made formally in the ROK, was the Japanese Government given any advance notice, either formally or informally?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: There was nothing of the sort, neither formally nor informally.
REPORTER: Next week will mark the anniversary of the end of the war. Can you share your views on visiting Yasukuni Shrine?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The Noda Cabinet has made statements on this a number of times up to now. To date, we have consistently stated that the Prime Minister and Cabinet members will continue to refrain from making official visits to Yasukuni Shrine, based on a holistic perspective of the circumstances, including international relations. I believe the Cabinet members agree along this line.
REPORTER: To confirm, is my understanding correct that there was agreement on this when the Cabinet was launched?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Prime Minister Noda stated at the press conference he gave when he took office on September 2 of last year that the Prime Minister and Cabinet members will not be making official visits.
REPORTER: Regarding a related matter, as August 15 approaches, have any instructions been given or has the Cabinet's view been conveyed once again to Cabinet members?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The Prime Minister already made clear what the view of the Cabinet is, at the press conference he gave when he assumed office on September 2 of last year. I believe this view is fully understood.
REPORTER: In connection with this, in the past, have you or the Prime Minister ever made a formal or private visit to Yasukuni Shrine?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: On any date? I have of course visited Yasukuni Shrine. As for the Prime Minister, I am not aware of all the facts concerning the past. In terms of August 15, I have never paid a visit to Yasukuni Shrine on August 15 in the past.