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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Saturday, January 19, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Today, slightly past 4:00 am, Prime Minister Abe returned to Japan from his visit to Southeast Asia. He immediately headed to the Prime Minister's Office and was briefed on the situation. Afterwards, from around 6:00 am, the Response Headquarters convened a meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister Abe. At the meeting, the Prime Minister instructed that every effort continues to be made to confirm the safety of and to rescue Japanese nationals, with human life as top priority. Also, for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes from around 3:00 am today (Japan time), a Japan-U.S. foreign ministers' meeting took place as well as a working lunch. At the meeting, Minister Kishida stated to Secretary Clinton that Japan firmly condemns terrorism and that following the latest incident the Government of Japan urged the Government of Algeria to give utmost priority to the lives of the hostages. Secretary Clinton echoed concerns over the incident. Both countries concurred on continuing to take responses while working closely together, including information gathering. In addition, Minister Kishida requested the continued cooperation of the United States (U.S.) on a number of items, to which Secretary Clinton agreed. As a result of the foreign ministers' meeting, it was decided that Prime Minister Abe will visit the U.S. in the third week of February. The Government will continue to request the efforts of the Algerian Government while being engaged in exchange of information and opinions among the nine relevant countries such as Japan, the U.S., United Kingdom, and France, including the one conducted yesterday. At the same time, the Government will strongly urge the Algerian Government to translate efforts into action, including the efforts requested by the Japanese Government. Furthermore, we will strengthen the functions of the local embassy, etc. That is all from me.

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