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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

July 21, 2016 (PM)

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

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Council for Promoting the Mitigation of the Impact of MCAS Futenma on Okinawa and the council between the Government and Okinawa Prefecture held meetings today. Ahead of these meetings, the Ministerial Meeting on Okinawa was convened, during which four ministers confirmed what the Government’s responses would be at the consultations with Okinawa Prefecture. With regard to the content of the meeting of the Council for Promoting the Mitigation of the Impact, I stated that the Government has been addressing this issue in good faith based on a policy of doing everything that is possible, and stated to the effect that the termination of operations of Futenma Air Station within five years cannot be realized without the host communities’ cooperation with the relocation to Henoko. In addition, an exchange of views took place with Okinawa Prefecture and Ginowan City regarding the status of the efforts for mitigating the impact of Futenma Air Station and the way forward. We discussed that the working group will meet to explore the way forward under the leadership of Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Sugita, the Vice Governor of Okinawa Prefecture, and the Vice Mayor of Ginowan City, and that the schedule of the next meeting and so on would be coordinated among these three individuals. During the meeting of the council between the Government and Okinawa Prefecture, I asked Governor Onaga if he has any intention to file a lawsuit based on the terms of the settlement. The Governor responded that Okinawa Prefecture does not intend to file a lawsuit to cancel the instruction for correction, and that consultations should take place sincerely by taking seriously the conclusion reached by the Central and Local Government Dispute Management Council. In response, I conveyed that if Okinawa Prefecture is not filing a lawsuit, then tomorrow the Government will file a lawsuit to confirm the illegality of the failure to act, in accordance with the Local Autonomy Act, in light of the purport of the settlement terms which stated that the procedures to seek a judicial decision and the procedures for consultations would proceed swiftly in parallel with each other. With regard to this response of the Government, I asked the Governor to confirm that the settlement terms are valid, that he would comply with the final ruling, and that the Government and Okinawa Prefecture would continue to hold consultations. The Governor stated that he had no objections. In any case, the Government will continue to address this matter in good faith that will include proceeding with the lawsuit and consultation procedures in parallel with each other, in accordance with the terms of the settlement. Furthermore, during the meeting of the council between the Government and Okinawa Prefecture, Governor Onaga requested that the Government take all possible measures to deal with Chinese naval activities in waters around the Senkaku Islands. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Defense, and I responded that the Government remains committed to conducting surveillance activities in waters and airspace surrounding Japan.

Q&As

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject. I have a question in relation to the recent failed attempt at a coup d’état in Turkey. Yesterday, the Turkish Ambassador to Japan held a press conference. The Ambassador noted that the coup d’état was plotted by Islamic leader Fethullah Gülen, and shared the view that organizations supporting the Gülen Movement are active also in Japan. The Ambassador revealed that he is requesting the Japanese Government to suspend the activities of these organizations. How does the Japanese Government intend to respond to this request?  

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the Government will arrive at a proper decision with regard to the matter referred to by the Turkish Ambassador, based on the actual situation in accordance with Japanese laws.

REPORTER: So that means that an official request was made to the Government to suspend such activities?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any case, it was only yesterday that the Ambassador made these remarks. As there are Japanese laws, it is a matter of course that Japan arrives at a decision in accordance with the laws based on the actual situation.

(Abridged)


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