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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The Government's response to the situation in South Sudan
  • The issues related to the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement


REPORTER: In South Sudan, the escalation of clashes between forces has resulted in numerous deaths and injuries. I understand that the Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF) are refraining from peacekeeping operations (PKO). Does the Government intend to evacuate the SDF from South Sudan or take any other further responses?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Sounds of gun shots and explosions have been confirmed in Juba between the late evening of Sunday, December 15, and the early morning of the 16th, local time. On the 17th, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued a Travel Warning to U.S. citizens. These things we are aware of. Based on this situation, this afternoon, Director Generals from the relevant ministries and agencies will meet under the helm of the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management to share information regarding the current situation and outlook, as well as confirm the necessary responses in preparation for unintended consequences. As of this moment, no harm to Japanese nationals, including SDF members, has been confirmed. The Government will continue to make every effort to collect and analyze information regarding this matter, with the relevant ministries and agencies working together. On this basis, we will take all possible measures to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals in South Sudan and of the members of the International Peace Cooperation Corps. The United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) has issued instructions to officers to be on standby at the barrack. Furthermore, the SDF units dispatched to South Sudan are carrying out work, including infrastructure development for the protection of local residents, while giving due attention to security.


REPORTER: I have a question regarding the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). The (Deputy) Spokesperson of the U.S. DOS made clear that the United States is not and will not consider revising the SOFA, as requested by Okinawa. What does the Japanese Government think about this stance of the United States?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Japanese Government has just received this request from the Governor of Okinawa. In this sense, we will be reviewing the request. In response to the request from the Governor, the Prime Minister stated that the Government will make maximum efforts. So, in short, the Government has just received the request, and it will be making efforts.


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