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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

June 5, 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 have a question concerning the remains of Ainu people. The remains of three Ainu people have been confirmed in a museum in Australia and negotiations will start concerning the return of these remains. Could I ask for a comment from the Government on the significance of this matter and expectations for how it will proceed?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware that the Ambassador of Japan to Australia has received information concerning the remains of Ainu people and that full-fledged discussions will be initiated on the return of these remains. It is now becoming standard practice internationally to return the remains of indigenous peoples, which had previously been taken overseas. In the report of the Council for Ainu Policy Promotion, which was approved on May 23, the basic policy of the Government is stated as being to seek the return of the remains of Ainu people that have been taken overseas and ensure that they are memorialized with due dignity according to Ainu custom. I am aware that Ainu remains are stored in various countries in Europe such as Germany, and North America. To request the return of these remains will require confirmation with the relevant authorities and negotiations. Based on the wishes of the Ainu people the Government will make every endeavor to realize the return of such remains.

REPORTER: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced the severance of relations with Qatar today, June 5. Can I ask for the Government’s view on this matter and if it is expected that there will be any impact on Japan, including Japanese companies, arising from the severance of relations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan will continue to closely watch the situation. In addition, we hope that countries in the Middle East will work together to combat terrorism and take steps to stabilize the Middle East region. With regard to the impact on Japan, although it is still too early to say anything with certainty, the countries concerned are all very important to Japan, including from the perspective of energy security, and we will therefore continue to closely watch the situation.

REPORTER: While on the one hand some people are critical of the Government of Qatar, claiming that it has long been a supporter of terrorist activities, it is also the case that Qatar is scheduled to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. What is more, it is participating in the U.S.-led allied mission to eradicate ISIL and a U.S. Air Force base is located in Qatar. What is the Government of Japan’s view of the Government of Qatar?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Qatar is an important supplier of oil and natural gas for Japan and we have developed relations in a wide range of political, economic and cultural areas. Prime Minister Abe has himself met with His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, on seven occasions. Although I am aware of the various announcements and reports that have been made concerning the reason for the severance of diplomatic relations, as this matter concerns third countries I would like to refrain from making any definitive comments.

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