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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, February 16, 2017 (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]

Q&As

REPORTER: I have a question in relation to Mr. Kim Jong-nam of North Korea. The Government of Malaysia, the country concerned in the incident, has announced that it was Mr. Jong-nam who was killed. Based on this announcement will the Japanese Government also be identifying this person as Mr. Jong-nam?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: On the 16th, Deputy Prime Minister Zahid of Malaysia announced at his press conference that the deceased North Korean male was Mr. Kim Jong-nam. The Government has taken the announcement made by the Malaysian Government at face value.

REPORTER: I have a related question. The intelligence agency of the Republic of Korea (ROK) has indicated that a North Korean agent used poison in the murder. Does the Japanese Government share the same view?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: An investigation by the Malaysian authorities is currently under way. The Government understands that no official announcement has been made regarding the particulars of the incident, including the identity of the criminals. That said, in any case, the Government is continuing to work closely with the countries concerned in gathering and analyzing information about the developments related to North Korea.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Have the Malaysian authorities contacted the Japanese Government regarding details such as the cause of death or the circumstances at the time of the murder?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are working closely with the Malaysian authorities. However, due to the nature of the matter, I would like to refrain from making comments.

REPORTER: I have an additional related question. You stated that the Japanese Government has officially recognized that it was Mr. Jong-nam who was murdered. That being so, is there still no impact on or change to Japan’s various policies and so on?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any case, at this point in time no abnormal event has been found that will directly impact the security of Japan.

REPORTER: I would like to change the topic. In the plenary session of the House of Councillors yesterday, the Prime Minister answered that the procurement of equipment from the United States will also result in contributing to the U.S. economy and employment. In this regard, is it the Government’s intention to consider the impact to the U.S. economy, employment, or other such effects in procuring defense equipment or in any other cases of Government procurement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In yesterday’s plenary session of the House of Councillors, in response to the question of whether he considered that enhancing the defense capabilities of Japan can make a contribution to the U.S. economy and employment, Prime Minister Abe answered that it goes without saying that security and the economy should be separated. He further answered to the effect that Japan’s introduction of U.S. equipment would result in contributing to the U.S. economy and employment. I do not believe the Prime Minister expressed the view that Japan would contribute to the creation of U.S. employment by purchasing weapons from the United States.

REPORTER: Yesterday, Fukushima Prefecture revealed its outlook that the surface decontamination being carried out by 36 municipalities in the prefecture in relation to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident would not be completed in 10 municipalities by the Government’s target of the end of March this year. Can you share your comments? In addition, what will be the impact going forward of not achieving this target?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, regarding the decontamination being carried out by the municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture, we have received a report that the Ministry of the Environment was informed by some municipalities that the work may slip into FY2017 due to reasons such as delays in the securing of temporary storage sites. At the same time, we recognize that at this time, each municipality is doing its utmost to complete the work within the current fiscal year. First, the Government will offer the necessary advice and cooperation to complete the work within the current fiscal year.

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