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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

December 7, 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: President Trump of the United States has officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Can I ask for a comment from the Government about this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Government is currently examining and analyzing the content of the President’s announcement and specific measures that will be made by the United States. The Government is also monitoring related developments with the utmost attention and will respond to them while working in close cooperation with countries concerned, including the United States. In any event, Japan’s position is to aim for a two-state solution and that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be resolved only through negotiations between the parties, based on the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions adopted to date and the agreements previously reached by the parties, including on the issue of the final status of Jerusalem.

REPORTER: From my understanding, the Government’s position is that the issue should be resolved through negotiations between the parties, but this decision by the United States seems to run counter to such direction. Given the relationship of trust that exists between Japan and the United States, does the Government intend to convey its position on this issue to the United States?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, from the perspective of realizing stability in the Middle East, Japan seeks to further enhance our already close communication with countries concerned, including the United States. In any event, the Government’s position is that we support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that issues should be resolved through negotiation between the parties, based on the relevant UNSC resolutions adopted to date and the agreements previously reached by the parties, including on the issue of the final status of Jerusalem. There is no change to this basic position.

REPORTER: The Government of Japan has continued steady efforts to facilitate trust building between the two parties, including holding consultations with the Israeli and Palestinian sides to support a project in Jericho, Palestine, to export processed agricultural products. Do you think that the announcement by the United States will have an overall impact on the Government’s Palestinian-Israeli-related policies and measures?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, as you noted in your question, we are involved in various projects, including the Jericho Agro-Industrial Park project, and there is absolutely no change to our position of seeking to contribute to the realization of peace in the Middle East through such efforts that aim to build trust between the parties and assist Palestinian economic development.

REPORTER: So, any impact from President Trump’s…(inaudible)

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We will continue to monitor developments with the utmost attention in terms of the impact on the Middle East peace process, including the impact of the latest announcement.

REPORTER: Prime Minister May of the United Kingdom has reportedly issued a comment stating that the UK does not agree with President Trump’s direction. Concerns are also being expressed by other European countries. Can I ask for your view on this point and whether the Government agrees or disagrees with the President’s decision?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Although various statements are being made by other countries, it is the case that the decision has only just been announced in the United States. At the current point, therefore, I would like to refrain from making any comments based on conjecture. In any event, seeking to ensure stability in the Middle East, Japan will continue to maintain even closer communication with the United States and other countries concerned. Our position remains consistent, namely that we support a two-state solution. There is no change to our position that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be resolved only through negotiations between the parties, based on relevant UNSC resolutions adopted to date and the agreements previously reached by the parties, including on the issue of the final status of Jerusalem.

REPORTER: After the Government has examined and analyzed the contents of the announcement by President Trump, will you be making it clear whether or not Japan supports the decision?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have already noted, Japan’s basic position is to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is the case that various resolutions have been adopted by the UNSC concerning this issue and agreements have also been reached by the parties. It is based on such resolutions and agreements that the issue should be resolved through negotiations.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: Yesterday the meeting of the Japan-China High-Level Consultation on Maritime Affairs was held in Shanghai and progress was made towards the establishment of a communication mechanism to avoid accidental clashes in the East China Sea. Could I ask for the Government’s evaluation of this meeting and could you also tell us when it is hoped that the mechanism will go into actual operation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the meeting of the Japan-China High-Level Consultation on Maritime Affairs was held on December 5 and 6, in which positive progress was made towards the establishment and introduction of the Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism between defense authorities. I have received a report that the meeting made progress in a variety of areas. As was confirmed at the recent Japan-China summit meeting, in which the two leaders shared the view that they will continue to communicate in order to make the East China Sea a “Sea of Peace, Cooperation, and Friendship,” we will continue to maintain contact with China and work to produce many more outcomes in the future.

(Abridged)
 

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