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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

I would like to give an overview of the Cabinet meeting. The meeting approved 16 general and other measures, as well as the promulgation of legislation and a treaty, cabinet orders and personnel decisions. With regard to statements by ministers, Minister Mori made statements concerning the Annual Report on Government Measures for Persons with Disabilities and the Declining Birthrate Measures White Paper, the report on the state of formation of a gender equal society in FY2013 and the policies to be implemented by the Government in FY2014 (the White Paper on Gender Equality), and on the White Paper on Consumer Affairs. The Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry made a statement concerning the Annual Report on Energy for FY2013. That is all from me.


  • The comment made by Minister of the Environment Ishihara regarding reconstruction of Fukushima
  • The revised national referendum act
  • The situation in Iraq

REPORTER: I have a question concerning a comment made by Minister of the Environment Ishihara. Today Minister Ishihara explained his comment and offered an apology, although he did not retract his comment. On the other hand the people of Fukushima and others have criticized this comment. Can I first ask what response the Government will be making?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I have received a report that Minister Ishihara has explained the intention of his comment and apologized for any misunderstanding caused.

There is absolutely no change to the policy of the Abe administration to engage in reconstruction with the highest priority, while fully taking into consideration the sentiments of the people who were affected by the disaster. In this context, with regard to the interim storage facilities that are essential for decontamination and reconstruction operations in Fukushima, the Government will continue to provide sincere and respectful explanations, seeking the understanding of local residents.


REPORTER: In today’s Cabinet meeting it was decided that the revised national referendum act, which will establish procedures for the amendment of the Constitution, will be promulgated and enter into force on June 20. Can I ask for a comment about this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, with regard to the form the Constitution should take, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) issued a draft bill for amendment of the Constitution and sought to promote its concepts on constitutional amendment broadly to the people of Japan.

There are three issues remaining with the national referendum system. Once we have resolved these issues, I believe it is important that we deepen public discussion and proceed steadily with the amendments based on the considerations of the Commission on the Constitution of both houses of the Diet.

The draft bill was submitted jointly by seven parties from the ruling and opposition parties following inter-party consultations. I stated that I welcomed the passage and enactment of the amended act, as it now means that the environment has been prepared to engage in amendment of the Constitution.

The Government will work diligently to raise awareness of the content of the amended act and see that it is implemented appropriately.

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the situation in Iraq. There are reports that the Sunni extremists who have gained control of northern Iraq, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), have killed more than 1,200 members of Iraq’s security forces in the city of Tikrit. Pictures have been released on the internet showing the killing of many captured Iraqi Government security forces. What is the reaction of the Government of Japan to these extremist actions? Also do you consider that the use of force by the international community is an option as a means of countering the extremists?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government is deeply concerned about the increasingly tense situation and the many internally displaced persons and casualties that these armed clashes have caused. The police authorities of Iraq have implemented measures to counter the attacks and fighting is continuing in a number of cities. The Government continues to support the Government of Iraq in its fight against terrorism. The Government of Japan hopes that the Government of Iraq tackles early restoration of the security situation while minimizing the impact on Iraqi ordinary citizens and their daily lives.

No Japanese nationals have come to harm in these clashes. The Government will continue to thoroughly monitor the international situation and the response made by the United States and other countries.

REPORTER: You have stated that the Government will in fact continue to support the Government of Iraq in its fight against terrorism. In specific terms what kind of support will the Government be considering?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly we will continue to monitor the situation for the time being. We will respond accordingly while taking into account any action by the United States or other countries.

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