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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

May 10, 2017 (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

REPORTER: I have a question related to Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) relations. Mr. Moon Jae-in, the winner of the ROK presidential election, has assumed office as the new President of the ROK. What is the Government's perception on how this will impact Japan-ROK relations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, we would like to offer our heartfelt congratulations to Mr. Moon Jae-in, who was elected as the new President of the ROK. Prime Minister Abe has issued a congratulatory comment to the new President. The ROK is the most important neighbor for Japan, with which it shares strategic interests. We consider that cooperation and collaboration between Japan and the ROK is extremely important and essential for peace and stability in the region, including for dealing with the issues of North Korea. We would like to continue to further deepen Japan-ROK cooperation in a variety of areas with the new administration, and build a new future-oriented era.

REPORTER: I have a related question. In his pledge during the election campaign, President Moon stated returning the Japan-ROK agreement regarding the comfort women issue to the drawing board and promoting a renegotiation. What kind of a stance does the Government hope from the new President with respect to the Japan-ROK agreement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, the Japan-ROK agreement was concluded at the end of 2015, and was highly valued by the international community. We believe it is extremely important that both Japan and the ROK implement that agreement with responsibility. The Government will continue to persistently take various opportunities to request the ROK side to steadily implement the agreement.

REPORTER: I would like to confirm about the renegotiation of the Japan-ROK agreement that President Moon is advocating. Does the Government view that there is leeway for a renegotiation of the Japan-ROK agreement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan will appeal that it is critical for both countries to implement with responsibility the bilateral agreement, which was highly valued by the international community.

REPORTER: I have a further related question. With regard to the Japan-ROK agreement, you just mentioned taking various opportunities. Does Prime Minister Abe intend to make a direct request to Mr. Moon for the steady implementation of the Japan-ROK agreement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As the agreement has been made, I naturally expect that the leaders will discuss advancing the agreement with responsibility, in light of the future of both countries.

REPORTER: The comment released by the Prime Minister last night included a statement indicating his hopes for a summit meeting in the near future. What are the arrangements currently being made for a telephone talk prior to that meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As the President has assumed office, arrangements are currently being made for a telephone talk.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a related question. As President Moon has been advocating harsh policies regarding Japan, some have pessimistic views that Japan-ROK relations will get chilly or worsen going forward. What are your thoughts on this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any case, when considering the issues of North Korea or other matters, or thinking about Asia overall, Japan positions the ROK as an extremely important neighbor that shares strategic interests, and regards that Japan-ROK cooperation is essential for peace and stability in the region. From that viewpoint, we hope that the President will help build a new future-oriented era while deepening Japan-ROK cooperation.

REPORTER: Regarding the criteria for suspending railway operations in the event of a ballistic missile launch by North Korea, leaving them to each company's decision could very well lead to confusion under certain circumstances. I gather that personal mobile phones are the most appropriate method for a large number of people to receive more accurate information. At the moment I believe whether or not the emergency alert e-mail service is provided when J-ALERT is up and running depends on people's mobile phone carrier. What are your intentions for enhancing mobile phone services under the leadership of the Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As you just mentioned in your question, I believe it is critically important that the alerts reach mobile phones. Some older models of mobile phones and smartphones are not equipped with the functions to receive emergency alert e-mails. Regarding these older models, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency is now taking steps to encourage the use of an app which delivers J-ALERT information and the registered e-mail services provided by municipalities. We will make efforts to steadily realize such initiatives.

(Abridged)


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