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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

September 2, 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

(Abridged)

Q&As

REPORTER: I have a question regarding Japan-Russia relations. In an interview with a news agency, President Putin of Russia reiterated his strong desire to resolve the territorial issue, stating that he would very much like to find a solution to the Northern Territories issue with their Japanese friends, and that if a high level of trust can be reached with Japan, then some sort of compromise can be found. What is the comment of the Japanese Government? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am of course aware of these news reports. I anticipate that at the summit meeting to be held this evening in Vladivostok, discussions will take place on the full scope of Japan-Russia relations in a wide range of areas. As frank exchanges between the leaders are essential for making progress on the issue of concluding a peace treaty, I expect that forward-looking discussions will take place between Prime Minister Abe and President Putin.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject. Today, the Government’s measures for relocating national agencies to regional areas were announced. It seems that the Agency for Cultural Affairs is the only national organization that will be relocated entirely. I believe the relocations, which would mitigate the overconcentration of administrative functions in Tokyo, were one of the Government’s centerpiece measures for vitalizing local economies. Can you please share your thoughts on the results that were released today? Also, can you tell us if the Government intends to take further steps to achieve the relocation of national agencies to regional areas?    

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, relevant ministries and agencies conducted pilot tests with the cooperation of the host regions while exchanging views with them from the standpoint of vitalizing local economies, securing the functions of national agencies, relocation costs, and so on. In this context, we were able to present two concrete directions for relocating the Agency for Cultural Affairs and establishing in Tokushima the “office for creating a new future for consumer affairs” of the Consumer Affairs Agency. It is unprecedented for work of central ministries and agencies to be carried out in places outside of Tokyo.

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject to Japan-China relations. The Prime Minister will return from Russia and then visit China to attend the G20 Summit from Sunday. Can you please tell us the current status of the arrangements of the Prime Minister’s meeting with President Xi Jinping on the sidelines?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The bilateral meeting is now being arranged and has not been decided yet.

REPORTER: I would like to ask another question on this matter. My understanding is that Japan wishes to realize a summit meeting during the Prime Minister’s visit to China as a step towards improving bilateral relations. Meanwhile, there exist issues with China, such as China’s intrusion into Japan’s territorial waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands. There are also issues related to China’s maritime advancements in the South China Sea. I imagine that the Prime Minister will be pressed to exercise leadership on some difficult issues. If the meeting is realized, what outcomes will you be expecting from the meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The basic stance of Japan is that our door is always open for dialogue. We consider that it is important to hold candid exchanges of views between the leaders, precisely because of the severe situation that Japan-China relations are in. In any case, our intention remains unchanged, which is to make efforts to improve Japan-China relations through dialogue.

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