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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

July 12, 2016 (AM)

If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
This video's audio is a provisional translation through live simultaneous interpretation.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

(Abridged)

From July 14 to 16 the Prime Minister is scheduled to visit Mongolia, where he will attend the 11th Asia-Europe (ASEM 11) Summit Meeting, a summit process that marks its twentieth anniversary this year. At ASEM 11 the Prime Minister plans to explain Japan’s position and initiatives with regard to issues that are shared by Asia and Europe, including terrorism, the international economy and regional issues. He will also use the opportunity provided by his attendance at ASEM to hold bilateral summit meetings with various countries. This will be an official working visit to Mongolia and the Prime Minister will hold a summit meeting with President Elbegdorj.

(Abridged)

Q&A

REPORTER: Ms. Theresa May has been appointed as the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the second female Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher. Can I ask for the Government’s view on this appointment?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, it is my understanding that Ms. May is scheduled to be appointed as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom tomorrow, July 13. The Government hopes that Japan-UK relations will be further strengthened by working with the new May administration. At the same time, the Government will monitor moves by the United Kingdom under the May administration to exit from the EU. The Government intends to engage in a thorough exchange of opinions with the UK Government on this matter.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Ms. May has indicated a policy of not initiating EU exit negotiations before the end of the year. What is the Government’s view concerning this point?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: That is a matter for the UK and I would like to refrain from making any comment from a government standpoint.

REPORTER: I have a question concerning South Sudan. It was announced in yesterday’s press conference that C-130 aircraft would be dispatched to evacuate Japanese nationals. Could you tell us about the current situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, with regard to the current situation, it is the case that since the evening of July 7, local time, a series of gunfights between the government and former anti-government forces have occurred in Juba, the capital city of South Sudan. There were also multiple gunfights yesterday. In the evening of July 11, local time, the Government of South Sudan issued a presidential order to cease hostilities and in response First Vice President Machar ordered the former anti-government force to cease hostilities. Monitoring is still ongoing to assess whether the issuance of these orders has led to a calming of the security situation in the country. It appears that currently there is a cessation of gun fighting, but the Government will continue to monitor the situation and how it develops. We will continue to make every effort to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals.

REPORTER: Based on this information, are we to understand that there is no change to the Government’s intention, as was mentioned in yesterday’s press conference, to continue peacekeeping operations (PKO)?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: That is correct.

REPORTER: I have a further question. In yesterday’s press conference it was noted that the Government does not envision adding new duties to those of the units already stationed in South Sudan, such as "kaketsuke-keigo" (coming to the aid of geographically distant unit or personnel under attack). If the assumption is that PKO will continue, the eleventh unit to be dispatched to South Sudan will depart from Japan in the autumn. Is the Government considering giving that unit new duties under the stipulations of the legislation for peace and security, such as coming to the aid of other units or personnel or engaging in joint protection of camps?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, with regard to SDF units that are scheduled to be dispatched to South Sudan in the future, and whether or not they will be assigned new duties, this is something that the Government will give careful consideration to going forward.

REPORTER: The situation in South Sudan is very volatile, so is the Government looking to speed up various matters relating to new duties, such as training and the formulation of criteria for unit actions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government does not believe there is any special reason to move with haste. Considerations will be advanced carefully, as they have been to date.

REPORTER: I believe that the Prime Minister gave instructions today to Minister Ishihara concerning economic policies scheduled for the autumn. What kind of instructions did the Prime Minister give? If any details have been determined already, could you share them with us?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, in a press conference yesterday, the Prime Minister (in his capacity as President of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)), stated that he had given instructions to Minister Ishihara to start preparations for economic policies. The key phrase for these policies is “investment in the future” and they will be based on letting local economies take the lead and aiming for global outreach. In any event, as was confirmed by G7 leaders at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit, there are various risks in the global economy, such as the UK’s exit from the EU and clouds appearing over emerging economies. In order to ensure that such risks do not negatively impact the Japanese economy, it seems to me that the Prime Minister has given instructions for comprehensive and bold economic policies to be formulated that will firmly bolster domestic demand.

(Abridged)

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