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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

June 2, 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.)

Q&As

REPORTER: President Trump has announced that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Can I ask about the Government’s view of this announcement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: At the recent G7 Summit, various discussions were held on the Paris Agreement, and the G7 members, including Japan, noted that climate change is a global issue that requires a concerted effort by the whole of the international community and that it is important for developed countries to provide leadership, and explained to the United States the importance of its engagement. As Japan was hoping to work with the United States within the framework of the Paris Agreement, the recent announcement by the Trump administration on its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is regrettable.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Going forward, how does the Government intend to approach the United States with regard to this issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan hopes to explore ways in which it can cooperate with the United States so as to effectively address climate change issues. Japan will work with other Parties to the Paris Agreement for its steady and full implementation. Through such efforts, Japan will vigorously tackle this important issue of climate change.

REPORTER: Does the Government have any concerns about the impact of the announcement of the United States’ withdrawal from the agreement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Based on the recognition that a response to climate change is a global issue that requires a concerted effort by the whole of the international community and that it is important for the United States to remain engaged, we will seek ways to approach the United States with regard to this issue.

REPORTER: President Trump has stated that the United States would rejoin the agreement if it were to be revised “on terms that are fair to the United States,” or if negotiations on a completely new framework were to begin. What is the Government’s view on the likelihood of the agreement being renegotiated?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We will continue to engage with the United States, based on our stance that the steady and full implementation of the Paris Agreement is important.

REPORTER: What is the Government’s view with regard to concerns that the United States’ withdrawal could effectively nullify the agreement, given that the United States is the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan will continue to explore ways in which it can cooperate with the United States so as to effectively address climate change issues. Japan will also work with other Parties to the Paris Agreement for its steady and full implementation. Although the withdrawal from the agreement was one of President Trump’s election campaign pledges, we will continue to engage with the United States on this issue and emphasize its importance.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question about the Nikkei Stock Average. This morning the Nikkei Stock Average rose above 20,000 yen for the first time in 18 months. The backdrop to this increase is thought to be linked to improvements in economic indicators in the United States. Can I ask for a comment from the Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Government welcomes that the Nikkei Stock Average has risen above 20,000 yen for the first time since December 2015. Although I would like to refrain from commenting on behalf of the Government on fluctuations in stock prices, as I always say, higher stock prices are better than lower ones. In that sense, the fact that stocks have risen above 20,000 yen is to be welcomed. In Japan, at the moment corporate earnings are at their highest level ever and a positive economic cycle is being generated, which is probably one of the reasons for the upswing in the markets. In any event, the Government will not be swayed by ups and downs in the market, but will rather continue to implement with full confidence the economic policies that we have promoted since the start of this administration.

REPORTER: I have a question on a different topic. President Putin of Russia has commented on the Northern Territories, indicating that their return is difficult due to Russia’s concerns about the deployment of US Forces if they were under Japanese sovereignty. What is the Government’s view of this statement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, President Putin made the comments that you just mentioned in response to comments and a question by a Japanese reporter about the possibility of US military deployment to the islands handed over to Japan in accordance with the Japan-US Security Treaty, if the islands are returned following the conclusion of a peace treaty. The leaders of Japan and Russia intend to continue constructive discussions on the issue of concluding a peace treaty. Given this context, I would like to refrain from commenting on individual statements made by President Putin.

REPORTER: I have a question about sanctions against North Korea. The United States and China have agreed on a draft resolution against North Korea in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). An additional measure in this new draft resolution is the freezing of assets and a travel ban on individuals and groups involved in nuclear and missile development. Can I ask for your evaluation of these developments in the UNSC?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any event, any actions in the UNSC that will lead to increasing pressure on North Korea will be of the utmost importance in helping to resolve the issue.

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