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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

July 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]

Q&As

REPORTER: Regarding the issue of the daily logs for the South Sudan Peacekeeping operation (PKO), there are press reports that Administrative Vice-Minister of Defense Kuroe and the head of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, Chief of Staff Okabe, will resign. Are you aware of their intention to resign?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am not aware of what has been reported in the press. In any case, the issues surrounding the disclosure of information in the daily logs of the South Sudan PKO are being thoroughly investigated by the Inspector General’s Office of Legal Compliance, under the responsibility of the Minister of Defense. I would like to refrain from making any comments at the current stage.

REPORTER: So, you are not aware of the facts, and are not making a comment. This is what is being reported about the responsibility of the officers or those on the administrative side. As for the responsibility on the political side, what are your thoughts on whether Minister of Defense Inada will remain or resign?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have just stated, the Inspector General’s Office of Legal Compliance is currently carrying out a thorough investigation, and I would therefore like to refrain from making a comment.

REPORTER: Given that it has been reported that there are signs that North Korea is close to launching another missile, what do you think of the continuing disarray at the Ministry of Defense? What are your thoughts on the possibility of this causing concern among the people?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government is fully prepared to respond to any circumstances.

REPORTER: I would like to ask about developments related to North Korea.  There is the possibility that North Korea will launch an ICBM-class missile today because it is an important anniversary. I believe that each of the related countries is maintaining a high state of vigilance. Have you thus far confirmed any signs of an impending missile launch?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, I am of course aware of the various reports. The Government is gathering information and carrying out analysis regarding developments related to North Korea on a daily basis with the utmost concern. In that context, I would like to refrain from commenting in detail given the nature of the situation.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Are you sharing information with the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) regarding the state of North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Of course.

REPORTER: I have a further related question. Do you believe there is a high possibility that North Korea will carry out an act of provocation because of today’s anniversary?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are endeavoring to conduct wide-ranging information gathering and analysis. However, given the nature of the matter I would like to refrain from making a comment. In any case, we believe the Government’s greatest responsibility is ensuring the safety and peace of mind of the people, and are therefore making all necessary preparations to address the situation.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject. It seems that two of the Japanese nationals detained in Shandong Province in China have been released. What is the Government’s current understanding of the related facts?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: On the July 27, four of the six Japanese nationals who were detained in March in Shandong Province and Hainan Province in China returned to Japan. We are carrying out the necessary communications with the Chinese authorities, but as there are still individuals who are being detained, I would like to refrain from commenting on the details. However, the protection of Japanese nationals is the most important responsibility of the Government, and we will therefore continue to fully support the individuals who are still being held.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Four individuals have been released. What information does the Government have on the reason why they were originally detained, and why they were released?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from commenting on the details. There are still individuals being detained, and it has still not been clarified at the company itself.

REPORTER: I would like to ask one more related question. What is the outlook on the release of the individuals who are still being detained?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We consider the protection of Japanese nationals to be the greatest responsibility of the Government. We will fully support the individuals who are still being detained.

(Abridged)


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