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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

October 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]

Q&As

REPORTER: I have a question regarding Japan-Russia economic cooperation. Yesterday, the Government of Russia announced that the economic cooperation related to the Far East that Russia and Japan have been discussing would span 18 projects and total over 1.7 trillion yen. Is this the plan? What is the Japanese Government’s comment to this announcement? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, in view of President Putin’s visit to Japan, we would like to deepen our bilateral relations in wide-ranging areas that cover not only economics but also politics and culture. In the area of economics, Japan and Russia have agreed at the Japan-Russia summit meeting in Vladivostok in September and on other occasions that we would flesh out the eight-point cooperation plan that has already been announced. In addition, it is true that the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East has proposed a list of 18 economic cooperation projects which you mentioned moments ago. I would like to refrain from answering about the individual projects, including whether or not the two countries are considering them, as they concern diplomatic exchanges and companies are also involved.     

REPORTER: I have a related question. Did the two governments coordinate with each other on Russia making this latest announcement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: A list of 18 projects was proposed, and therefore, I gather that they were discussed extensively. However, I am not aware of the details.

REPORTER: Sorry, I have one more question. The list of 18 projects contains projects that are quite large in scale, such as a project to construct a bridge connecting Sakhalin and Hokkaido. What is your outlook regarding their feasibility?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am not aware of what the 18 projects entail.

REPORTER: Today, a summit meeting will be held with the Philippines. What outcomes do you expect from the meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan and the Philippines are partners that share strategic interests based on friendly and cooperative relations that have been forged over many years. Economically, the two countries enjoy close economic relations, and over the years Japan has contributed to the economic development of the Philippines through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and other channels. The Government will continue to proactively support the development of the Philippines, which will include infrastructure development that the Duterte administration attaches importance to, as well as maritime security and assistance to Mindanao. We hope that through today’s summit meeting we can further deepen the ties and partnership between the two countries.

REPORTER: A related question. The President has repeatedly stated that he would shift away from a pro-U.S. policy. Will Japan and the Philippines, both allies of the United States, exchange views regarding relations with the United States?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, I would like to refrain from speculating on the outcomes of a summit meeting that is yet to take place. Japan expects that frank exchanges of views will be held between the Prime Minister and President Duterte of the Philippines for the two countries to contribute to peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.

(Abridged)

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