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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 4, 2015 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: I have a question regarding the verification of the Government’s response to the incident involving the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL). What progress has been made on the selection of experts?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, we are now making the final arrangements to ask five people to participate in the verification process. As I responded yesterday at the Diet, unlike the previous Algeria incident, the latest incident is a highly confidential case. Therefore, experts will be participating under a confidentiality obligation. We are now making the final arrangements on this and other items.

REPORTER: I have a related question. So the one and only thing that has already been decided is the participation of five people?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We intend to ask and are currently asking five people. I imagine there will be people who decide they cannot participate because of work or other commitments. That is why I say we are making “final arrangements.”

REPORTER: My question is related to this matter. So rather than inviting these experts to the verification committee, they will be joining the committee as members. Is that correct?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the verification committee is currently in progress. With regard to the committee, as I stated yesterday, those in charge, mainly officials, are verifying whether the procedures which were determined following the verification of the Algeria incident were indeed taken, including the initial response arrangements. In this process, I imagine that there will be occasions for the committee to hear the various views of the experts. I expect that the committee will compile a final report upon receiving the different views of the experts.

REPORTER: U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama will visit Japan from March 18 to 20. This will be her first visit to Japan since she became First Lady. Can you please share your comments?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, the Government highly welcomes this visit in the sense that it will deepen the friendship between Japan and the United States. We hope that the First Lady will see the issues facing Japan, as well as enjoy Japan’s natural beauty. The Government understands that during her visit, the First Lady hopes to deepen Japan-U.S. cooperation on international girls education and development issues in developing countries.

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