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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

June 27, 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]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

(There were statements on the overview of the Cabinet meeting and on the ministerial discussions following the Cabinet meeting.)

Q&As

REPORTER: Did the Cabinet today approve a revised government ordinance that strengthens cargo regulations against North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Today, the Cabinet approved a government ordinance that revises the Implementation Ordinance for the Act on Special Measures concerning Cargo Inspections etc., which introduces so-called “catch-all controls.” From the perspective of even more strictly regulating the flow of goods between North Korea and third countries, this will enable submission orders for items that are not clearly designated in the scope of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions but have been judged to possibly contribute to nuclear and ballistic missile plans and enhancement of military operational capabilities. Through this measure the Government intends to implement UNSC resolutions even more strictly.

REPORTER: I believe that a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) was held following the Cabinet meeting. Could you share with us what was discussed?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Today the four ministers’ meeting of the NSC was held, in which the situation in the Indo-Pacific region was discussed.

REPORTER: Was any report made to the NSC about the Cabinet’s approval of the revision to the government ordinance?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In today’s NSC meeting the situation in the Indo-Pacific region was discussed.

REPORTER: I have a question about Japan-Russia relations. A joint public and private research team from Japan has recently departed from the port of Nemuro, bound for the Northern Territories, with a view to assessing potential for joint Japan-Russia economic activities on the four islands. Could you tell us about the outcomes you expect from this research visit?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly at the time of the Japan-Russia summit meeting in December last year the two leaders agreed to begin consultations on joint economic activities in the Four Northern Islands. In the summit meeting held in April this year it was further agreed to dispatch a joint public and private research team to the islands. It was based on this agreement that today a research team comprised of 69 members departed for the islands today. The visit is scheduled from today, June 27, to July 1, and the team members are expected to visit facilities related to various fields, including fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, medicine and the environment. They are also planning to exchange views with the Governor of Sakhalin Oblast and other local officials. The setting out of a joint future vision for the Four Northern Islands by the Japanese and Russian people, through discussions on how to implement joint economic activities in a way that will not harm either country’s legal position, will deepen mutual understanding and trust between Japan and Russia. This will also be a very positive development towards the conclusion of a peace treaty. We will continue to make thorough efforts to identify the specific projects.

REPORTER: As you have just noted, joint economic activities are positioned as an important step for the Government towards the conclusion of a peace treaty. If the specifics of such activities are worked out, how does the Government intend to use them to build trust that would result in the conclusion of a peace treaty?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: A first and very important step is to implement joint economic activities in a way that does not harm either country’s legal position.

(Abridged)

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