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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 9, 2015 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to make a statement regarding the assessment of the recent acts of terrorism in Syria in which two Japanese nationals were murdered. An assessment committee chaired by Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Sugita and composed of key officials from the relevant ministries and agencies, including the Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management, the Secretary General of the National Security Secretariat, and the Director of Cabinet Intelligence, will hold its first meeting tomorrow at 11 am. The assessment committee will also seek the opinions of external experts, based on which it will thoroughly assess the Government’s response to the recent incidents, as well as the Government’s response structure for protecting Japanese nationals living abroad from international acts of terrorism and other such countermeasures.


REPORTER: I have a question concerning the assessment you mentioned. Last weekend, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) lodged a protest against TV Asahi in writing, and perhaps also verbally. In any case, MOFA has stated that the claim that it advised the Prime Minister to reconsider visiting the Middle East is completely untrue. First of all, I would like to know if that is in fact the case.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Well, I believe MOFA lodged a protest because the report, which was broadcast publically, was at odds with the facts.

REPORTER: Allow me to ask another question. Regarding the Prime Minister’s speech, MOFA has stated that the claim that the Prime Minister’s Office led the writing of the speech is also completely untrue. Is that in fact the case?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The writing of the speech is a comprehensive process, whereby information is gathered from each of the relevant parties, and then the specific content is determined.

REPORTER: I apologize if this is incorrect, but I assumed that when writing the Prime Minister’s speech, information is of course gathered from all the various parties involved, but I thought that then the Prime Minister’s Office leads the writing of the speech based on this information. Is my understanding incorrect?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Rather than any one body leading the process, overall, the relevant information is put together by all the various governmental bodies and then the content is determined. For example, I chair the Ministerial Meeting on Strategy relating Infrastructure Export and Economic Cooperation, and if, say, the Prime Minister were planning an overseas visit, then we look at infrastructure issues or projects relating to his planned destination.

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