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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

September 16, 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

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I understand that the typhoon disaster was declared a “Disaster of Extreme Severity” at today’s Cabinet meeting. Can you please provide a summary and share with us your impressions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: When the Prime Minister visited Hokkaido, he announced that the disaster would be declared a “Disaster of Extreme Severity” as quickly as possible. Under these circumstances, this time, the declaration applies to a wide range of public works facilities, farms, and other agriculture, forestry and fishery facilities nationwide, unlike previous declarations. In addition, to support small and medium-sized enterprises, a similar declaration will be issued for municipalities that sustained significant damages. For example, municipalities that sustained significant damages are Minamifurano Town in Hokkaido and Miyako City, Kuji City, and Iwaizumi City in Iwate Prefecture. These four municipalities are considered to have sustained particularly severe damages.

REPORTER: It has been reported that during the extraordinary Diet session, the Government would not submit the so-called anti-conspiracy legislation, or legislation that would make preparing for organized crimes such as terrorism punishable. This topic was raised during this morning’s meeting of the Secretaries-General of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito. Are the reports accurate? If so, what is the reason? Will you then be submitting the legislation during the ordinary session of the Diet?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, with regard to the basic policy of the Government, the Government views that it is an important agenda item for Japan to sign the United Nations (UN) Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and combat organized crime in coordination with the international community. We need to move forward in developing legislation for the signing of this convention. We need to go about this thoroughly, especially in light of the recent terror attacks and other incidents. So far, around the world 187 countries have signed this convention. Among the G7 countries, Japan is the only country that has not signed the convention. However, it is also true that at the Diet, discussions have taken place on the need to carefully study the various possible forms for this legislation that is necessary for signing the convention. This is also being taken into account. With regard to when the legislation will be submitted to the Diet, I never said one word that it will be submitted during the upcoming extraordinary Diet session. This is also true. Presently, however, 187 countries and regions have signed the convention, and Japan is the only G7 member that has not signed the convention. We fully recognize the need for such legislation in order to prevent terrorism. This is the situation. This legislation is not included in the bills to be submitted to the upcoming extraordinary Diet session.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the issue of North Korea. With regard to the UN Security Council’s sanctions resolution in response to North Korea’s nuclear test, it is reported that Japan, the United States, and the Republic of Korea (ROK) are seeking a full ban of crude oil exports to North Korea. Can you explain the current considerations of the Japanese Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, work is currently ongoing. Leaving aside what it will entail, the Government is working on this now, with Japan, the United States, and the ROK leading efforts to include rigorous sanctions in the draft resolution. Therefore, we are still far from finalizing the resolution. I would like to refrain from disclosing the content as we are in mid-process and doing so will interfere with the negotiations. That said, we hope to adopt a rigorous resolution.

REPORTER: I have a related question. It has been suggested from before that the sanctions against North Korea contain loopholes. In this regard, I believe China’s stance in particular will become important. What role does Japan expect from China with respect to the sanctions against North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: On the 14th, the foreign ministers of Japan and China held a telephone talk regarding the adoption of a new UN Security Council resolution. During the meeting, the two ministers confirmed that they would work towards the adoption of a new Security Council resolution that would include further sanctions. On this issue, the entire international community, including, as a matter of course, countries such as China and Russia that have influence on North Korea, will work to adopt a rigorous resolution.

REPORTER: A related question. When you announced the Prime Minister’s visit to Cuba the other day, you stated that the Prime Minister would seek the understanding and cooperation of Cuba for resolving the outstanding issues with North Korea. What exactly will the Prime Minister be requesting at his meetings with dignitaries in Cuba?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I too am aware that Cuba has extremely close relations with North Korea. During the summit meeting, Japan will carefully explain the status of our abduction issue and request Cuba’s understanding and cooperation. In addition, given the number of nuclear tests and missile launches that North Korea has conducted, Japan will make thorough requests that include these matters, as Cuba has influence on North Korea.

REPORTER: In the past, a vessel that attempted to carry a large number of weapons from Cuba to North Korea was seized. Do you perceive that Cuba still supplies to North Korea products or technologies that can be diverted for military purposes?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Based on the past experience, the UN imposed a sanctions resolution against Cuba that made strong requests, including in this regard. Japan will strongly request these matters to Cuba.

(Abridged)

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