Thursday, March 16, 2017 (PM)
Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)
REPORTER: I have a question about the Japan-U.S. Foreign Ministers' meeting. Various items were confirmed, including the response to the North Korean issue. Can I ask how the Government assesses the outcomes of the meeting?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Japan-U.S. Foreign Ministers' meeting has just concluded. Based on the outcomes of the recent Japan-U.S. summit meeting, the ministers engaged in discussions on specific areas for cooperation in the future. In particular, with regard to North Korea the two sides shared the recognition that North Korea's nuclear and missile development programs are totally unacceptable, and confirmed that Japan, the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) will coordinate to strongly urge North Korea to exercise self-restraint by refraining from provocative actions and to comply with the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions . In addition, the two sides confirmed the importance of advancing cooperation between Japan and the United States and among Japan, the United States and the ROK, including on fields such as security . Furthermore, with regard to Japan-U.S. security, the two ministers confirmed that a "2+2" ministerial meeting (Security Consultative Committee (SCC) ) will be held in order to discuss specific ways to strengthen the Japan-U.S. Alliance and that they will accelerate arrangements to that end. With regard to Okinawa the two sides recognized the necessity to mitigate the impact on Okinawa in a visible way, and agreed that both Japan and the United States will cooperate on this point. Additionally, they reconfirmed that relocating Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma to Henoko is the only solution . Following the meeting Foreign Minister Kishida and Secretary Tillerson held a joint press conference. The meeting was extremely significant as it confirmed the unwavering bond of the Japan-U.S. Alliance.
REPORTER: The Supreme Court has ruled that the use of global positioning system (GPS) technologies as a police investigation method is illegal without a warrant and has called for new legislative measures. This ruling is causing confusion among local police personnel. While on the one hand there are opinions that such investigations can invade the privacy of citizens, on the other hand there are also views that GPS is an extremely effective measure for apprehending malicious and organized criminal groups, which could not be caught using other methods. Can I ask what impact you believe this ruling will have on counterterrorism measures towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, with the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games due to be held in three years' time, counterterrorism measures are one of the highest priority issues for the Government. We will continue to work closely with the international community and the Government as a whole, led by the Prime Minister's Office, will make concerted efforts to engage dynamically in the promotion of measures to prevent terrorism. After having first examined the details of the recent ruling in detail, the Government wishes to deal with the issues appropriately, while liaising with ministries and agencies concerned.
REPORTER: I have a question about the monetary policy of the Bank of Japan (BOJ). In the Monetary Policy meeting today the BOJ decided to maintain the current quantitative and qualitative monetary easing. Can I ask for a comment from the Government about this decision?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government hopes that the BOJ will continue to make efforts to realize its price stability target, taking account of developments in economic activity and prices . The Government and the BOJ share the same important policy goals of exiting deflation and achieving sustainable economic growth. We will continue to work closely together to mobilize monetary and fiscal policies and structural reform measures, and the Government will make concerted efforts to ensure the further acceleration of Abenomics.
REPORTER: I have a question about the general election in the Netherlands. Votes have been counted following the election for the House of Representatives on March 15 and it looks as if the center-right People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, led by the currently serving Prime Minister, will maintain its position as the largest political party. On the other hand the far-right Party for Freedom has failed to achieve the gains that were forecast prior to the election. The general election in the Netherlands attracted a great deal of attention as a bellwether for the power of so-called populist political parties in Europe, so can I ask for a comment on the results of the election?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As you have just noted, it had been said that this election could transform the realities of the political situation in Europe in various ways and as such the Government has also been monitoring the outcome carefully. The current ruling party, led by Prime Minister Rutte, has declared victory in the election. The Government will continue to cooperate closely with the Netherlands, one of our important strategic partners with which we share common values.