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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, July 31, 2014 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The new G7 leaders statement regarding additional sanctions on Russia
  • The U.S. Ambassador’s attending to the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima
  • The Japan-North Korea negotiations

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the statement issued on July 30 by the G7 and the European Union (EU) directed at Russia. The Government of Japan had taken the position that the facts need to be investigated of the incident involving the Malaysia Airlines flight. Meanwhile, Russia has expressed that it would cooperate with the investigation of the facts. Based on what pretense or what grounds did you decide to join the statement that strongly condemns Russia when the facts have not yet come to light?     

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, based on the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight and the current situation in Ukraine, it was decided that a new G7 leaders statement would be issued to once again demonstrate the G7’s solidarity in its actions. This statement demands an international investigation of the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight. It also describes that the G7 members coordinated to take additional sanctions on Russia in order to demand that Russia stop its support for the separatists, and other such actions. These were the main subject matter. In particular, Japan has been strongly asserting the point that Russia needs to cooperate with the investigation of the facts. In this context, Japan is currently preparing to implement the additional measures announced on the 28th, including the asset freeze. In any case, as we have stated consistently since the Ukraine issue arose, Japan will take measures in coordination with the G7 members. This remains unchanged.

REPORTER: I would like to ask another question in relation to President Putin’s visit to Japan this autumn. You have been stating that nothing has been decided yet. However, the remaining time is about three to four months at most. Do you have no intention to postpone the visit or take any other such measure in view of the time needed to establish a suitable environment? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have stated repeatedly, nothing has been decided at this time. Our stance remains unchanged. We will make a decision from a comprehensive perspective.


REPORTER: It has been confirmed that U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy will be attending the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima. She will be the second U.S. Ambassador to attend the ceremony following her predecessor Ambassador Roos. Can you please comment on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, I am of the view that Hiroshima City, the organizer of the Peace Memorial Ceremony, is currently finalizing the list of participants for the ceremony that will be held on August 6. I understand that Hiroshima City will announce the list of participants when it is finalized. With that in mind, U.S. President Obama is aiming for a world without nuclear weapons. If, based on these circumstances, Ambassador Kennedy attends the ceremony, following in the footsteps of then Ambassador Roos, Japan believes this would help lend momentum to nuclear disarmament. We would therefore welcome her attendance.

REPORTER: I have a slightly different question that is also related to the United States. During a hearing in the United States on the 30th, Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies made the following comment regarding the Japan-North Korea negotiations over the issue of the abduction of Japanese nationals. He apparently stated that the United States is supportive of all of the efforts Japan is undertaking as long as they are undertaken transparently. May I ask once again how the Japanese Government interprets this transparency demanded by the United States and how the Japanese Government intends to respond specifically?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: With regard to the negotiations, Japan has explained to the United States that the abduction issue is a humanitarian issue. I gathered from Mr. Davies’ statement that the United States fully understands the situation. 


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