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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 2, 2018 (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]

Q&As

REPORTER: Large volumes of an oil-like substance have been found washed up on the shores of Amami-Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture. Some have noted the possibility that this oil may have leaked from the Iranian tanker that sank off Amami-Oshima last month. Would you mind if I ask what information the Government has on this matter and what the Government’s responses have been?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, an information liaison office has been established at the Prime Minister’s Office today in order to respond to the matter you mentioned. A meeting of government ministries and agencies concerned was held and it was confirmed that the oily substance is drifting ashore from the northern shoreline of Takara Island to the northern shoreline of Amami-Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture. Currently, possible government responses are being consulted about. Working closely with local governments, the Government is investigating the distance the oily substance has travelled and its source and making every effort to engage in clean-up measures, including dispatching the National Strike Team of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) to the region. At this point, no link has been identified with the tanker Sanchi that you referred to. Meanwhile, samples of the oily substance have been collected and are currently being analyzed. In response to the leakage of oil following the sinking of the Sanchi, we are also working closely with China and other countries concerned to control marine pollution, including the dispatch of JCG patrol vessels and aircraft.

REPORTER: What is the Government’s view on how this incident would impact the fishery industry, residents living along the coastlines affected, and ecosystems in the vicinity at the current point?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: At this stage, we have not confirmed anything with respect to your point. Meanwhile, samples have been collected and are currently being analyzed. We are working closely with other countries concerned, including China, to control marine pollution, including the dispatch of JCG patrol vessels and aircraft. We will continue to closely monitor the situation.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: February 9 (February 7) is Northern Territories Day and public interest is growing regarding the issue of the Northern Territories. It has been reported that the Government of Russia has published a decree concerning the joint civilian-military use of an airport on Etorofu Island. Has the Government lodged any kind of protest against this decree?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Government is aware of the decree that you mentioned. We are also currently collecting information related to the developments of the Russian military in the Northern Territories. We have already indicated through diplomatic channels that this development might lead to the enhancement of Russia’s military presence in the Four Northern Islands and it would be incompatible with Japan’s stance on the islands.
 

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