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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

November 4, 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

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject. I have a question regarding PKO activities in South Sudan. The Kenyan Government is in uproar over the replacement of the commander of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) from the Kenyan military forces and announced that it would immediately pull out Kenyan troops from UNMISS. With Kenyan troops making up 10% of the mission, I gather that this raises concerns about the implications on the activities of UNMISS. Can you please share the comments of the Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, at this point in time we do not have information that the Kenyan Government has actually started withdrawing its troops. The Kenyan Government deploys over 1,000 troops mainly to Wau, a city in the western part of South Sudan. The Government is interested in and will closely follow the actions of the Governments of Kenya and South Sudan as well as the responses of the United Nations (UN).

REPORTER: I would like to ask a related question. The Kenyan Government has simultaneously announced its intention to withdraw from the peace talks in South Sudan. If this affects the local security situation, could it somehow affect the decision regarding the assignment of the duty of “kaketsuke-keigo” (coming to the aid of geographically distant unit or personnel under attack) that the Government is considering?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, at this point in time we do not have information that the Kenyan Government has actually started withdrawing its troops. In addition, the area where the Kenyan troops are primarily deployed is different from the area where the Self-Defense Forces are deployed. Therefore, we view that this will not have any direct impacts. In any case, the Government is interested in and will closely follow the actions of the Governments of Kenya and South Sudan as well as the responses of the UN.

REPORTER: I have a question in connection with South Sudan. I understand that Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Shibayama who visited South Sudan went to see the Prime Minister a short while ago to report on the situation. Have you been briefed on the content of this report? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I am not there, I do not have this information.

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject to Japan-Russia relations. It has been reported that Secretary General Yachi of the National Security Secretariat will visit Russia from tomorrow and hold talks with Secretary Patrushev of the Security Council of Russia and others. What is the status of the arrangements?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, I understand that as of now the details of Secretary General Yachi’s visit to Russia have not been finalized.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Minister Seko also visited Russia, and agreement was reached regarding economic cooperation, suggesting that economically, Japan has been working to build a conducive environment for engaging in the peace treaty negotiations at the summit meeting in December. What are your expectations for the role of Secretary General Yachi in the Japan-Russia negotiations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I stated, the details of the Secretary General’s visit to Russia have not been finalized at all, and therefore, I would like to refrain from making comments at this stage.

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Paris Agreement. The new framework for global warming countermeasures, the Paris Agreement, entered into force today. Can you explain its significance as well as what steps the Government will take to realize the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, the negotiations pertaining to the Paris Agreement have been conducted so far on the basis that the Paris Agreement will be implemented with all parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) including Japan taking part. The Paris Agreement is the first of its kind in history to be adopted as a framework applicable to all countries, and Japan considers it a breakthrough agreement that is in line with what Japan has been advocating over many years. In any case, the Government welcomes that the Agreement entered into force today, the 4th.    

REPORTER: A related question. Today, the Diet is set to approve Japan’s ratification of the Agreement. Japan will attend the first Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1) on the15th as an observer with no voting rights. It seems inevitable that Japan’s presence will decrease in the international negotiations. How does Japan intend to demonstrate its presence in the international community over this matter? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I stated moments ago, the negotiations concerning the detailed implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement are being conducted with all parties to UNFCCC including Japan taking part. Even after the Paris Agreement enters into force, the negotiations are set to be conducted in a manner that includes countries that are not yet parties to the Agreement. Accordingly, we do not believe that Japan not participating in CMA1 as a party will have significant impact on Japan’s position in the negotiations. Japan is committed to completing the ratification procedures as quickly as possible and take part in the negotiations as a party with a persuasive voice.

(Abridged)

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