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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

September 23, 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]

Q&A
REPORTER: I have a question about the situation in Okinawa Prefecture. Please explain your view of Okinawa Prefecture’s appeal to the Supreme Court contesting the decision by the Naha Branch of the Fukuoka High Court regarding the lawsuit to confirm illegality in relation to the transfer of Futenma Air Station to Henoko.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I have not received a report that an appeal was delivered at this point. The Government intends to make the necessary response based on the recent High Court decision if a procedure begins at the Supreme Court. We also intend to continue responding in good faith, such as moving forward in discussions with Okinawa Prefecture, in parallel to the lawsuit procedure, based on the settlement agreement between the national government and Okinawa Prefecture, in light of the recent High Court decision.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I would like to change the topic to confirmation of some reports coming out of China. China News Service and other media carried an article today about China using a drone to measure the area around the Senkaku Islands and obtain a precise map in 2012. Is the Government aware of related facts regarding this news?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am obviously aware of this media report in China, but I would like to refrain from commenting as a representative of the Government in regard to individual media stories. Nevertheless, the Government has a duty to resolutely defend Japan’s territory, territorial waters, and territorial airspace and will continue to put its fullest efforts into surveillance of waters and air space around Japan from this perspective.

REPORTER: Switching the topic, I would like to ask about the integrated resort (IR) bill that promotes casinos and other IRs. What is your view of the importance of passing this bill aimed at realizing integrated resorts from the perspective of tourism promotion and growth strategy that you personally have been working on?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe IRs can contribute to tourism, regional vitalization, and industrial vitalization, but also recognize the need for a review of system-related measures from the standpoint of crime prevention, sustaining public order, fostering a healthy environment for young people, and addiction prevention. The Japan Revitalization Strategy 2016 hence refers to reviews being conducted by related ministries and agencies in light of the current state of the IR promotion bill and national discussions regarding IRs.

REPORTER: The currently submitted bill is Diet member legislation, and the Nippon Ishin-no-Kai and others have expressed interest in passing the bill in the extraordinary Diet Session starting on September 26. What is your view of how this bill will be handled in the extraordinary Diet Session?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Discussions on the IR bill submitted as Diet member legislation has been carried over at the House of Representatives, as you just noted, and I expect the Diet to decide how it plans to handle the bill in the extraordinary Diet Session. The Government plans to closely monitor developments in the Diet and related discussions.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question about Taiwan. Media reports indicate that Taiwan did not receive an invitation to the General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization beginning on September 27 in Montreal (Canada) and it will be unable to participate in the General Assembly as things currently stand. While it is being said that this situation reflects pressure from China toward the current Taiwanese government that does not recognize the principle of “one China,” please explain the position of the Japanese Government regarding attendance by Taiwanese authorities at the General Assembly.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of the media reports, but would like to refrain from commenting as a representative of the Government in regard to individual interactions among third parties. Nevertheless, it is a reality that there are many regular direct flights between Japan and Taiwan. Taking into account this reality, the Government believes that it is preferred to have Taiwan participate in the General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization in some capacity from a practical standpoint of securing steady advances in the safety of international commercial flights.

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