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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

June 16, 2015 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga



REPORTER: I have a question regarding Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). It seems that the Japanese residents of the Republic of Korea (ROK) who had shown no symptoms but were subject to home quarantine have already returned to Japan. Can you please tell us if this is true? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: If anyone who has had contact of any kind with a MERS patient in the ROK or in the Middle East enters Japan, then quarantine authorities will check their symptoms. If they have no symptoms, then their health will be monitored for a given length of time. Proper measures are being taken to prevent infection, including requiring these individuals to report their health status on a daily basis to public health centers. As such, there is absolutely no problem.    


REPORTER: My question is regarding the security legislation. At yesterday’s regional public hearing of the Commission on the Constitution of the House of Representatives, five out of six people expressed opposition to the legislation and maintained a cautious stance. Comments were heard like “It is the people with power who must safeguard the Constitution” and “you need to carefully study constitutionalism.” A series of opinions were expressed that were quite critical, suggesting that the legislation still has not gained broad understanding. Can you please share your comments?   

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware that there are many opinions. It is the Government’s duty to secure the lives and peaceful daily lives of the Japanese people and ensure Japan’s survival. Based on this view, upon receiving the opinions of various people, last July the Government adopted a Cabinet decision to the effect that the constitutional interpretation falls within the limit of the basic logic as expressed by the Government in 1972. In this sense, logical consistency is fully maintained with the constitutional interpretation expressed in the past. No arbitrary changes have been made to the constitutional interpretation. The legislation is thus constitutional, and it is in this context that we submitted it to the Diet.   


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