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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

July 28, 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: A Meeting of the Ministerial Council on the Response to the Mass Stabbing Incident at the Facility for the Disabled was held a short while ago. At the meeting, in his opening address, the Prime Minister stated that the recent incident has triggered significant anxiety among many people, including persons with disabilities and their families, and that the Government would thoroughly investigate the truth behind this incident and make every effort to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents and ensure people’s safety. The Prime Minister instructed that relevant ministers work together under the leadership of the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare to urgently examine necessary measures from various standpoints, including reinforcing security at facilities and conducting follow-ups after discharge from involuntary hospitalization for posing dangers to others, and that these measures are swiftly translated into action starting with whatever is possible. Based on the instructions issued by the Prime Minister today, the entire Cabinet will work as one to make every effort to implement measures for preventing such a tragic incident from happening ever again. 
 
Q&As

REPORTER: My question is in regard to the remarks you just made. By around when will the Government be compiling these measures instructed by the Prime Minister to prevent similar incidents from happening?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, in accordance with today’s instructions from the Prime Minister, I expect that relevant ministers will work together under the leadership of the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare to urgently examine necessary measures, including reinforcing security at facilities and conducting follow-ups after discharge from involuntary hospitalization, and that these measures will be translated into action. Yesterday, the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare visited the site of the incident and received an explanation regarding the circumstances. Meanwhile, persons with disabilities and their families are feeling very anxious. The Government will swiftly take measures to be able to alleviate their concerns.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I would like to change the topic to the establishment of a foundation for providing support for the former comfort women in accordance with the Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) agreement reached at the end of last year. Today, protestors barged into the venue for the foundation’s inaugural press conference in the ROK. Furthermore, following the press conference, the head of the foundation was sprayed with a liquid and taken to a hospital. What is your view regarding this situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, we are aware that a foundation was established in the ROK. I believe the Japanese Government should not make comments regarding the unfolding of the foundation’s inaugural events in the ROK, and therefore, I would like to refrain from making comments. The Japanese and ROK Governments are in the process of coordinating the details of the program that the foundation will be implementing pursuant to the Japan-ROK agreement.

REPORTER: I believe today’s protests are emblematic of the complexity of the public opinion in the ROK regarding the comfort women issue. What kinds of appeals or efforts do you think are necessary in response to the ROK public opinion?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any case, Japan-ROK relations are deepening in accordance with the agreements reached at the Japan-ROK summit meeting and by the two foreign ministers at the end of last year. It is important that both governments uphold these agreements in good faith.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question in connection with the situation in South Sudan. Through interviews with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) personnel, we know that earlier this month, a vehicle with JICA personnel on board was bombarded while traveling in Juba, the capital city of South Sudan where Self-Defense Forces (SDF) are dispatched for peacekeeping operations (PKO). Since the 7th of this month, fighting has intensified between forces loyal to the President and anti-government forces. It is possible that either of the forces fired bullets at the vehicle. What does the Government know? In addition, can you once again tell us whether the Government perceives that the five principles for the dispatch of the SDF for PKO are still being upheld?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, according to JICA, at around 6 PM on July 8, local time, a bulletproof vehicle carrying four personnel was hit by bullets while traveling from the JICA office to their living quarters. We have been informed that no one was injured. With regard to this incident, taking everything into consideration, including reports from personnel dispatched to South Sudan as well as information from the Japanese Embassy and the United Nations, the Government does not consider that an armed conflict provided for in Japan’s PKO Law has occurred in the area of operations of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS). We do not perceive that the five principles for participation have become null as a result of either the confrontations between the government and anti-government forces or the deterioration of the security situation. We have continued to follow the situation since then. The situation has remained calm.
   


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