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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

July 15, 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)

Q&As

REPORTER: In Nice, France, a truck drove into a crowd, killing and injuring many people. So far have you received any information on whether any Japanese nationals were affected?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, we are in great shock and express great indignation at the incident in Nice, France that killed and injured many people. I extend my deepest condolences to the victims and their families. I also express my sympathy to those injured and pray for their quickest recovery. We are aware that French authorities are now investigating the background of the incident, including whether it was possibly a terror attack. If it was a terror attack, it is totally unacceptable and Japan resolutely condemns it. Japan expresses strong solidarity with the people of France. At this point in time, it has not been found that Japanese nationals were affected. At the Japanese Consulate-General in Marseille, a local liaison office was established at 6:25 AM JST. The Consul General has been dispatched to Nice and is gathering information, including whether or not Japanese nationals were affected. At 7 AM today, an information liaison office at the Prime Minister’s Office and an information liaison office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) were established. We will continue to collect information and make every effort to protect Japanese nationals. The Japanese Embassy in France and the Japanese Consulate-General in Marseille have just sent out alert e-mails to Japanese residents there and those registered in Tabi-Regi (Travel Register). MOFA has also circulated overseas safety information and issued alerts on its overseas safety website.   

REPORTER: I have a question in connection with this. It is about the security system in Japan. As of now, does the Government have any intention to bolstering security at soft targets?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Following the recent terror attack in Bangladesh, Prime Minister Abe instructed that all possible measures be taken to counter terrorism. Based on this instruction, the Government held a meeting of the Headquarters for Promotion of Measures Against Transnational Organized Crime and Other Relative Issues and International Terrorism, and is focusing its efforts on measures, such as strengthening information collection and analysis, ensuring the safety of Japanese nationals overseas, implementing thorough border control measures, and bolstering security at important facilities and soft targets. Above all, the key to preventing terrorism is information. In view of the severe situation surrounding terrorism and other factors, the Government newly created the Counter Terrorism Unit - Japan (CTU-J) at the end of last year. We have also reinforced the system for collecting and aggregating international terrorism information directly under the Prime Minister’s Office. We will further strengthen this system to quickly enhance our intelligence capabilities. At the same time, we are steadily advancing “anti-terrorism measures best-suited to Japan” in which the public and private sectors indeed work together, such as by strengthening border control measures, bolstering security at important facilities and soft targets, and fostering a relationship of trust with the foreign community and strengthening our collaboration with them. The Government will continue to work collectively to steadily take measures to prevent terrorism.  

REPORTER: I have a related question. At the outset, you stated that you express great indignation over the recent incident. Does the Japanese Government perceive that it was highly likely a terror attack?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: French investigation authorities are still investigating, and therefore, Japan would like to refrain from making comments regarding your question. In any case, however, (the truck drove) into a large crowd, killing, I believe, over 70 people at this point in time. This is absolutely unacceptable.

(Abridged)


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