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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

July 14, 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 and others.)

Q&As

(Abridged)

REPORTER: Mr. Liu Xiaobo, the human rights activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize while in detention and who called for democratization in China, passed away yesterday. Can I ask for a comment from the Government on his passing?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to express my heartfelt condolences on hearing the news of the passing of Mr. Liu Xiaobo, who dedicated his life to freedom and democracy. As Japan has consistently stated, freedom, respect for basic human rights, and rule of law are fundamental values of the international community, and we believe it is important for these values to be guaranteed in China too. Japan intends to continue to closely watch human rights conditions in China with strong interest.

REPORTER: It had been Mr. Liu Xiaobo’s wish to receive medical treatment overseas for his condition, and the Government of China has been criticized by the international community for not allowing him to travel overseas. What is the view of the Government on this point?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Although I would like to refrain from discussing the details, the Government did in fact communicate its views to China through a variety of routes.

REPORTER: I have a related question. There seem to be concerns among democratization and human rights activists in China that Mr. Liu’s passing will lead to further suppression of the democratization movement in China. What are your views on the prospects for a crackdown on the democratization movement in China?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government will continue to closely watch human rights conditions in China with strong interest.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I would like to return to the topic of the passing of Mr. Liu Xiaobo. It has been noted that this matter could lead to widening dissatisfaction with the administration of President Xi of China. What impact do you think the passing of Mr. Liu will have on the Xi administration?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, freedom, respect for basic human rights, and rule of law are fundamental values of the international community, and we believe it is extremely important for these values to be guaranteed in China too. The Government will continue to closely watch human rights conditions in China with strong interest.

REPORTER: You have just stated that the Government will continue to watch human rights conditions in China. It is the case that the international community has long been critical of the state of democratization in China. What is the view of the Government of Japan with regard to the status of democratization in China?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have already noted, Japan has consistently stated that freedom, respect for basic human rights, and rule of law are fundamental values of the international community, and we believe it is extremely important for these values to be guaranteed in China too.

REPORTER: I have a question on a different topic. Mr. William Hagerty has been approved by the United States Senate as the new U.S. Ambassador to Japan. Could you tell us about the role the Government expects Mr. Hagerty will fulfil in his new position?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I am aware that the United States Senate approved Mr. William Hagerty as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. The Japanese Government welcomes the approval of Mr. Hagerty, who is highly trusted by President Trump, as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. I understand that Mr. Hagerty is very supportive of Japan and has a great deal of knowledge and experience about our country. He will serve as an important bond between Japan and the United States, and the Government will work together with him to further strengthen our relations and ensure that the Japan-U.S. Alliance, which is the cornerstone of Japan’s diplomacy and security, is unwavering.

(Abridged)

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