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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

July 20, 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]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga
(There was a statement on the overview of the Cabinet meeting.)

Today, following the extraordinary Cabinet meeting, a meeting of the Ministerial Council on Measures against Fire Ants was held, with the Prime Minister in attendance. At the meeting, based on the recent multiple cases of fire ants being confirmed in Japan and in order to ensure a concerted Government response, information was shared on countermeasures and awareness-raising efforts being implemented by the ministries and agencies concerned. In addition, the Prime Minister issued instructions for accurate information to be provided to the public, and for a swift and preemptive response to be made that considers all scenarios. Based on the instructions issued by the Prime Minister today all ministries and agencies concerned will strengthen their collaborative efforts to prevent the entry of this invasive species into Japan and ensure it does not become established in the country.

Q&As

REPORTER: I have a question concerning President Trump of the United States. Today, July 20, marks the six-month anniversary of the inauguration of the Trump administration. It has been noted that President Trump is facing a difficult situation in that many of his “America First” policies are facing barriers that prevent their realization and suspicions about so-called “Russiagate” are continuing to attract attention. What is the Government of Japan’s evaluation of the first six months of the Trump administration?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, against the backdrop of an increasingly severe security environment in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan-U.S. relations have never been more robust, based in particular on the strong relationship of trust shared between Prime Minister Abe and President Trump. Although only six months have passed since the President’s inauguration, in that time Prime Minister Abe and President Trump have held face-to-face summit meetings on three occasions and have also held summit telephone talks on seven occasions. The Japan-U.S. Alliance has progressed to the stage where the two leaders are able to talk with each other at any time. Based on the strong relations of trust at the leader level and also at the ministerial level, including between Deputy Prime Minister Aso and Vice President Pence, the Government will exert its utmost efforts to further enhance the Japan-U.S. Alliance and to work closely with the United States on urgent challenges that face the international community, including the issue of North Korea. Although I would like to refrain from commenting on behalf of the Government on the foreign policy and other policies of another country, what I would say is that the Japan-U.S. Alliance is truly the fundamental basis for Japan’s foreign policy. It serves as a cornerstone for the region and for prosperity and we will continue to make it even stronger.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question concerning North Korean missiles. Some press reports are suggesting that there are signs that North Korea is preparing to test launch another intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or a medium-range missile. Could you tell us whether the Government is aware of any such information?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government is constantly striving to gather and analyze information about nuclear and missile-related developments in North Korea with the utmost concern. I would like to refrain from making any comment about the details of specific items of information and analysis due to the nature of the matter.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Japan-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement. It is expected that this evening the agreement will enter into force after the completion of related procedures that are taking place in India. Could I ask you for a comment about the significance of this agreement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: India is one of Japan’s most important strategic partners. The Government considers that strengthening relations with India is important not just from the perspective of bilateral relations, but also for the future of the Indo-Pacific region. With the conclusion of this agreement, India will take on new obligations under international law including between Japan and India with respect to such matters as the peaceful use of nuclear material and non-proliferation. The Government believes that this agreement will ensure that India engages in responsible actions concerning the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The conclusion of this agreement also has great significance among the various initiatives being implemented by the international community to achieve the substantive participation of India in the international non-proliferation system.

REPORTER: I have a related question. It is the case that nuclear reactor manufacturer Toshiba Corporation is currently facing a management crisis and has decided to withdraw from overseas business in this sector. There are also signs that Japanese moves to enter Indian markets have waned somewhat. How does the Government think the strategy of exporting nuclear power station technologies to India should be reappraised and revised?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, in this case the Government will, while continuing to support the nuclear non-proliferation framework, provide highly safe nuclear energy technologies based on the situation and wishes of the counterpart country. This is the basic concept of the Government regarding nuclear energy technologies and does not apply only to India. We will continue to actively promote such a policy.

(Abridged)

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