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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

October 4, 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 Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Q&As

(Abridged)

REPORTER: The United States announced that it suspended talks with Russia to sustain a ceasefire in Syria. This comes at a time when Japan-Russia relations are improving. How do you expect this to affect the negotiations for concluding a peace treaty between Japan and Russia?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: We are concerned about a further worsening of the humanitarian situation in Syria. There is a pressing need to improve the humanitarian situation. To do this, it is essential that there is a ceasefire and improved access to humanitarian assistance. We understand that the United States announced the suspension of its agreement with Russia on the cessation of hostilities. In view of the current severe humanitarian situation, we believe that all parties, countries concerned, and the international community as a whole need to sustain their efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Syria, and to realize immediate, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access. Japan will continue to provide humanitarian assistance, as well as urge everyone concerned to sustain their efforts. We do not consider that the developments between the United States and Russia will have any impact on our negotiations for concluding a peace treaty.

REPORTER: The draft supplementary budget is expected to pass at this afternoon’s plenary session of the House of Representatives. Can you please once again explain the significance of this supplementary budget and what discussions you expect after the draft budget is sent to the House of Councillors?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: The Government would like to refrain from making speculative comments regarding deliberations at the Diet. The Government has been asking for the swift passage of the supplementary budget, which is based on the economic measures exceeding 28 trillion yen in project scope. We remain committed to providing careful explanations with a sense of urgency towards the swift passage of the supplementary budget, through which we will firmly support domestic demand and carry out bold investments for the future.

REPORTER: At yesterday’s meeting of the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives, with regard to concluding a peace treaty that encompasses the Northern Territories issue with Russia, Prime Minister Abe explained the same government policy from before, which is that there is no change to Japan’s intention to conclude a peace treaty by solving the issue of the return of the four islands. On the other hand, former Prime Minister Mori has mentioned the return to Japan of the Habomai and Shikotan Islands and the joint management of the Kunashiri and Etorofu Islands. I believe there are various opinions. Some suggest that this sort of solution is not inconsistent with the existing government policy. Can you please share your view in this regard?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: If I comment on the individual solutions that you just referred to, this may affect our future negotiations. Therefore, I would like to refrain from making comments. In any case, the basic policy of the Government remains unchanged, which is to conclude a peace treaty by resolving the issue of the attribution of the Northern Territories.

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