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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

  • The current status of the abduction of Japanese nationals in Algeria

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: With regard to the incident in Algeria, in which Japanese nationals were taken hostage, once again I have to share with you today some very distressing news. Today in Algiers, as a result of operations being implemented by Government officials together with staff from JGC Corporation to confirm the safety of Japanese nationals, it was regretfully confirmed that a further two bodies were in fact those of Japanese employees of the company. In addition to the previous seven persons whose deaths have been confirmed, this recent confirmation brings the total of Japanese nationals who have lost their lives to nine. On behalf of the Japanese Government I would like to reiterate once again my sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims. That these people lost their precious lives in this way is truly a source of profound sadness. No matter the reason, the use of violence can never be condoned, and the Japanese Government reiterates its firm condemnation of acts of terror. In addition, today in Algiers, Senior Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Suzuki held a meeting with Prime Minister Sellal of Algeria from 10:30 pm, and I hear that the meeting ended just a few minutes ago. In his position as special envoy of the Prime Minister, Senior Vice Minister Suzuki expressed strong condemnation for the utterly contemptible act of terrorism, and issued a request for cooperation from the Algerian government concerning procedures to expedite the repatriation of the two further bodies that have been newly confirmed, to confirm the safety of the remaining one Japanese national who is unaccounted for, as well as to provide the full details of the incident, particularly concerning the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the Japanese nationals who lost their lives. Prime Minister Sellal responded that the Algerian government will provide all cooperation possible. The Government will continue to utilize all possible means to collect information and make every effort to confirm the safety of the one Japanese national who remains unaccounted for. With regard to the Government plane, in view of the fact that it was struck by lightning on its arrival in Algeria and given that the bodies of two further Japanese nationals have been confirmed, the time of departure of the plane for Japan is currently being rescheduled.



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