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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

October 12, 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 Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Q&As

REPORTER: Yesterday, a large transport helicopter of the U.S. Forces Japan made an emergency landing close to the Northern Training Area in Okinawa and caught fire. What is the Government’s view of this incident and what response is being made?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: Yesterday at around 5:20 p.m., an accident occurred in which a transport helicopter of the U.S. Marine Corps caught fire while in flight and made an emergency landing. I have received a report that the fire on board has already been extinguished and there were no civilian or U.S. military casualties caused by this accident. It is extremely regrettable that this accident involving a U.S. military aircraft has occurred as it is a source of major concern to local residents. Upon hearing the first report of this accident, the Prime Minister immediately stated that it was most regrettable and issued instructions to lodge a request with the U.S. side to provide detailed information about the accident, engage in investigations to ascertain the cause and implement measures to prevent a reoccurrence. The Prime Minister also instructed that the Ministry of Defense and the Self-Defense Forces should not leave it entirely to the U.S. side for information about the cause of the accident and measures to prevent a reoccurrence, but should also use their own knowledge and experience to the maximum extent in responding to this accident. A further instruction was to the Government’s crisis management officer responsible for Okinawa to ensure a thorough response on the ground in the prefecture. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense have both expressed their regrets concerning this accident and strongly requested the implementation of an investigation into the cause, measures to prevent a reoccurrence, the thorough implementation of safety management and the provision of detailed information to Mr. Joseph Young, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Maj. Gen. Charles Chiarotti, Deputy Commander, U.S. Forces Japan, and Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, Commanding General, III Marine Expeditionary Force. In any event, the Government considers it to be a matter of course that the U.S. makes maximum efforts to ensure safety when operating military aircraft, and will continue to make requests in this regard.

REPORTER: I have a related question. You have just stated that the aircraft caught fire while in flight, but yesterday the explanation was that it caught fire after landing. Are we to understand that the aircraft was in flight when it caught fire?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: Yes, it was in flight when it caught fire.

REPORTER: According to some press reports today, arrangements are being made for President Trump to meet with the parents of Ms. Megumi Yokota, one of the abduction victims, at the time of the President’s visit to Japan in November. Could you tell us the facts behind these reports?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: Arrangements are currently being made for a visit to Japan by President Trump in November, but as yet no specific details have been decided concerning the President’s schedule while in Japan.

REPORTER: With regard to the visit to Japan by President Trump, you have stated that details about the President’s schedule in Japan have yet to be decided, but could you tell us whether Japan and the United States are working together to coordinate a meeting with the parents of Ms. Yokota?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: The specific details of the President’s schedule in Japan have yet to be decided, including the matter you mentioned.

REPORTER: Yesterday the Nikkei Stock Average closed at its highest level for 20 years and 10 months and today it has risen further, reaching 20,980 yen at one point, which is a new high since the implementation of Abenomics. Can I ask for a comment on the latest moves on the stock market and whether the Government views the upturn in the markets as a positive factor in the election campaign, given that one of the focuses for the campaign is the effect of Abenomics?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: I understand that yesterday the Nikkei Stock Average closed at 20,881 yen, the highest level since the inauguration of the second Abe Cabinet and also the highest level for approximately 20 years and 10 months. Various factors impact stock prices and these are decided by the markets, and therefore I would like to refrain from attempting to make any appraisal of fluctuations in stock prices on behalf of the Government. What I would say is that the Government will continue to make every effort to prioritize the economy and work to ensure that Abenomics continues to create a positive economic cycle.

REPORTER: With regard to the U.S. military helicopter crash in Okinawa, does the Government intend to request the U.S. side to halt flights until the cause of the accident has been identified?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: I understand that the cause of the accident is currently being investigated. In any event, the Government considers it to be a matter of course that the U.S. makes maximum efforts to ensure safety when operating military aircraft, and will continue to make requests in this regard.

REPORTER: In the course of making such requests, will the Government be calling for flights to be halted?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: As I have just noted, it is a matter of course that maximum efforts be made to ensure safety.
 

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