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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

October 27, 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 concerning the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) between Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK), which also came up in this morning’s press conference. The Government of the ROK has announced that it is seeking to resume consultations in order to conclude the GSOMIA before the end of the year. Can I ask for the thoughts of the Government with regard to this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Naturally I am aware that the Government of the ROK has announced that it will resume negotiations with Japan in relation to the GSOMIA. It is of the utmost importance for Japan and the ROK to cooperate in responding to North Korean nuclear and missile issues. The Government is seeking to further promote Japan-ROK cooperation in security-related areas, including the swift conclusion of this agreement.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Four years ago the GSOMIA came very close to being concluded, but was put off at the last minute due to adverse public opinion in the ROK. A similar public response is expected in the ROK this time too, so can I ask for your thoughts on this point?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: My understanding is that the announcement made by the Government of the ROK was based on its own judgment from a security perspective. I would like to refrain from making any further comment from a Government standpoint.

REPORTER: I have one more question. If that is the case, are we to understand that it was the ROK side that sought the resumption of consultations on the GSOMIA?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any event it is of the utmost importance for Japan and the ROK to cooperate in responding to North Korean nuclear and missile issues and the Government is seeking to further promote Japan-ROK cooperation in security-related areas, including the swift conclusion of this agreement. Matters will be determined in consultation with the ROK.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question on a different topic. This evening the second meeting of the Advisory Council on Easing the Burden of the Official Duties and Public Activities of His Majesty the Emperor is scheduled to take place. I understand that the plan in today’s meeting is to select the persons who will be interviewed by the Council. What points would the Government like the Council to focus on when selecting people to interview?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: To begin with, at the first meeting of the Advisory Council it was decided that from the third meeting next month the Council would hear a wide range of expert opinions on various matters, relating to the Constitution, history and the Imperial system. It is my understanding that it was therefore decided that at today’s second meeting the Council would discuss a basic policy on the selection of people to interview and then decide on specific people based on this policy. I believe that in due consideration of the task of the Council to engage in discussions without prejudice, the Council will select appropriate people who have a good understanding of this issue and who possess a range of expert knowledge in the areas I have already mentioned, namely the Constitution, history and the Imperial system.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: You have recently had a meeting with Ms. Caroline Kennedy, United States Ambassador to Japan, and Mr. Tony Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State of the United States. Also, today Japan-United States-ROK Vice-Ministerial Consultations have been held. Are we to understand that in the meeting with the Ambassador and the Deputy Secretary you exchanged opinions on such matters as sanctions on North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Following the Japan-U.S. Vice-Ministerial Consultation yesterday, today the Japan-U.S.-ROK Vice-Ministerial Consultations were held, and I received a report that the meetings were most significant. The Deputy Secretary is extremely focused on Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation and I welcomed his leadership in the consultations. During the short time we met we also exchanged opinions on such issues as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement and the regional situation.

(Abridged)

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