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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

May 10, 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

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I would like to ask about the new administration of the Republic of Korea (ROK). The new President, Mr. Moon Jae-in, has named Mr. Lee Nak-yon, a person knowledgeable on Japanese affairs, as his candidate for Prime Minister. What do you expect from this personnel appointment?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, I am aware that Mr. Lee Nak-yon has been named as the candidate for Prime Minister. However, I understand that there are still domestic procedures in the ROK that need to be completed to appoint Mr. Lee as Prime Minister, and I would therefore like to refrain from commenting at the current time on behalf of the Government.

REPORTER: I have a related question. During his inauguration speech, President Moon stated that if certain conditions were met he would visit Pyongyang, and emphasized his stance of advancing summit-level diplomacy for achieving peace on the Korean Peninsula. What role do you expect President Moon to play vis-à-vis North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, I am aware of the statement made by President Moon. However, the specific policies of the new administration are not yet clear. I believe some time is needed before they become clear. In this context, it is essential that the new administration and Japan cooperate closely. We intend to promote close Japan-U.S.-ROK relations, particularly regarding North Korea.

REPORTER: I have a related question regarding holding summit-level talks between Japan and the ROK. You have said a telephone talk is being arranged, but will arrangements be made to realize an in-person meeting between President Moon and Prime Minister Abe in the near future?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The President has only just assumed office in the ROK and we intend to consider the timing of a summit meeting from now.

REPORTER: I have one final question on this subject. If foreign guests were to be invited for an inauguration ceremony for the President of the ROK assuming office, who would the Government of Japan send as its representative?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe we would consider past precedent and dispatch an appropriate individual.

REPORTER: I would like to ask about the burden of expenses for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Yesterday, the Prime Minister instructed Minister Marukawa to adjust the allocation of the expenses between Tokyo, and the three prefectures of Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama. Could you please reiterate what action you would like to see from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Yesterday the three Governors of Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama came and discussed the issue of the allocation of expenses for holding the Games. The Governors informed the Prime Minister that no concrete proposal has been made by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and that if this situation continues, it will hinder the smooth hosting of the Games. Furthermore, they made a request to the Prime Minister for the central government to swiftly make a decision on the matter, adhering to the principle that the installation expenses for permanent facilities be borne by the local governments, while the installation expenses for temporary facilities be borne by the Tokyo Organising Committee.

The Prime Minister carefully listened to the three Governors, and instructed Minister Marukawa to promptly make arrangements, as a representative of the central government, regarding the issue of the allocation of expenses, with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo Organising Committee. In any case, we must ensure the success of the Games. It is therefore critical that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo Organising Committee, central government, and related local governments work as one in a forward-looking manner. We would like Tokyo, as the main host city, and the Tokyo Organising Committee, as the organizing body, to take ownership for and lead these efforts. Furthermore, the central government will make thorough efforts, together with Tokyo and the Tokyo Organising Committee, to ensure the success of the Games, in accordance with the Prime Minister's recent instructions.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Governor Koike has stated that this problem will be resolved in May. However, I believe it is also the case that she has repeatedly postponed reaching a resolution on the matter. Could you please share any thoughts you may have regarding the approach taken by Governor Koike?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Yesterday the three Governors visited the Prime Minister's Office due to the fact that the issue of the allocation of expenses, which was supposed to have been resolved by March, has repeatedly been delayed and there are still no signs of a clear outlook. Meanwhile, the timing of the Games is fixed at 2020, so the Governors visited the Prime Minister's office out of concern that preparations may not be completed in time and in order to request that the path forward be determined.



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