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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

July 22, 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]

Q&As

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the issue of the relocation of Futenma Air Station of the U.S. Forces. Today, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ishii filed a lawsuit against Governor Takeshi Onaga to confirm the illegality of the Governor’s revocation of the land reclamation approval. Can you please explain the reasons for filing this lawsuit? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Today, the Government filed a lawsuit to confirm the illegality of Okinawa Prefecture’s 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. 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.

REPORTER: The settlement terms from March provided that Okinawa Prefecture would be the party filing a lawsuit. What do you think about the fact that the Government is the one stepping outside the framework to file a lawsuit?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Under the terms of the settlement, Okinawa Prefecture was supposed to have chosen either to withdraw the revocation or file a lawsuit. Because the Prefecture has failed to act, the Government filed a lawsuit today. 

REPORTER: For the settlement, the Government asked Okinawa Prefecture to seek a judicial decision, to comply with the final ruling, and at the same time, to hold consultations. Is it the Government’s judgment that consultations alone would not really lead to a settlement of this issue? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The terms of the settlement provided from the start that the lawsuit and consultation procedures would proceed in parallel with each other. It was on this basis that both the Government and the Prefecture gave their consent. Therefore, we will proceed with the consultations while simultaneously going ahead with the lawsuit. There is nothing odd about doing both in parallel with each other. In order to avoid a long drawn-out legal battle between the Government and the Prefecture, the settlement terms state that the procedures to seek a judicial decision and the procedures for consultations shall proceed swiftly in parallel with each other, and that when a judicial decision is rendered, the parties shall immediately comply with the decision and continue to address this matter in good faith in accordance with the purport of the decision. Yesterday as well, during the council meeting with the Governor, I asked the Governor to confirm that the settlement terms were valid, that the Governor 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. I believe this goes to show that the procedures are moving forward pursuant to the terms of the settlement.

(Abridged) 

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