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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

April 24, 2015 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)
  • Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the United States

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the issue of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones. I understand that a short while ago, a liaison meeting among the relevant ministries was held at the Prime Minister’s Office. What discussion took place at the meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: A short while ago, the relevant ministries and agencies presented reports on the existing laws and regulations and on the status of the regulations being considered in other countries pertaining to small UAVs, also known as “drones.” Discussion then took place on how we should proceed. It was decided that two subcommittees would be established. One of the subcommittees will work on fundamentally strengthening the security arrangements at key facilities against acts of terrorism and other acts that make use of small UAVs. The other subcommittee will work on establishing and applying rules for operating drones, reviewing relevant laws and ordinances, and other activities. Upon creating these two subcommittees, we will identify the key issues and consider how the Government should respond. Based on the status of the reviews undertaken by both subcommittees, we will hold another plenary meeting following the holiday period in early May. These were the items that were discussed. In any case, the Government and ruling parties will make concerted efforts to promptly review measures for fundamentally strengthening the security arrangements at key facilities, the rules for operating drones, and the relevant legal and regulatory mechanisms. We will then swiftly implement what can be implemented. Furthermore, we will take all possible crisis management measures and fully ensure the safety and security of the lives of the people. We consider this to be the role entrusted to the Government, and therefore, we will respond in a thorough manner.


REPORTER: I would like to change the subject to Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the United States from the 26th. This will be the first official visit to the United States by a Japanese Prime Minister in nine years. What discussions do you expect will take place during the summit meeting with President Obama?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, Prime Minister Abe will pay a state visit to the United States from the 26th of this month to the 3rd of next month. We consider the visit to be a critically important opportunity to demonstrate to the world the robustness of the Japan-U.S. Alliance. Japan and the United States achieved reconciliation following the end of World War II and became strong allies who share the same fundamental values. As allies, our two countries have made combined efforts to contribute broadly to peace and prosperity in the region and the world. In light of these achievements, during the summit meeting, the Japanese side looks forward to holding candid discussions on close collaboration between the two countries for further contributing to peace and prosperity in the world. In addition, Prime Minister Abe will deliver an address to a joint session of Congress, which will be the first time a Japanese Prime Minister does so. We consider this to also be deeply significant. Furthermore, this time, the Prime Minister’s delegation will be visiting a number of cities around the country, such as Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. We have high expectations that Japan-U.S. ties in a wide range of areas will be deepened through private sector and local government exchanges.

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