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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

September 26, 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

REPORTER: The extraordinary Diet session will convene today. How will the Government and ruling parties be engaging in the first full-fledged debates since the House of Councillors elections? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Diet session will convene today. This Diet session will realize what we pledged the people during the recent election campaign, which is to further accelerate Abenomics and further revitalize the economy. In order to implement the economic package exceeding 28 trillion yen, we will first commit ourselves wholeheartedly to swiftly passing the supplementary budget that will make bold investments for the future. In addition, we will seek to quickly obtain approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. The new Cabinet will work collectively in consultation with the ruling parties to flesh out the policies.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: Yesterday, Chinese Air Force fighters and other aircraft flew above the Miyako Strait between the main island of Okinawa and Miyakojima. China explained that the Air Force was conducting a flight exercise to the Western Pacific. I understand that this was the first time that Chinese fighters flew through this airspace. Can you please share the comments of the Japanese Government and what responses it is taking?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Yesterday morning, a total of eight Chinese aircraft conducted a long-distance flight, flying past the East China Sea and between the main island of Okinawa and Miyakojima to the Pacific Ocean. I have been briefed that during this flight, there were no intrusions into Japan’s territorial airspace. Two of the eight aircraft are presumed to be fighters of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). This is the first time that aircraft flew between the main island of Okinawa and Miyakojima. While it is possible that the PLA aircraft were conducting some form of exercise, I would like to refrain from making any conclusive statements regarding the flight purpose of the Chinese aircraft. The Government will continue to closely monitor the moves of the PLA that is expanding and intensifying its activities. To firmly protect Japan’s territorial land, waters, and airspace, the Government remains committed to undertaking maximum monitoring and surveillance efforts, as well as implementing rigorous anti-territory intrusion measures in accordance with the international law and the Self-Defense Forces Act.  

REPORTER: I have a related question. China has vowed to continue to conduct patrols in its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) above the East China Sea. What are your thoughts concerning the escalation of such moves to keep Japan and the United States in check?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, China’s establishment of the East China Sea ADIZ obliges aircraft flying in international airspace to abide by its domestic procedures, and infringes the freedom of flight in international airspace, which is the general principle of international law. In addition, the “zone” set by the Chinese Ministry of National Defense seemingly describes the airspace over the Senkaku islands, an inherent part of the territory of Japan, as if it were a part of China’s “territorial airspace.” Japan cannot accept at all such description. This has not changed whatsoever.

(Abridged)

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