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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

August 4, 2015 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga



REPORTER: With regard to your announcement concerning the temporary discontinuation of work relating to the relocation of Futenma Air Station, can I ask the reason behind the decision to accede to Okinawa Prefecture’s request to halt the work? This decision would appear to be different to the policy that the Government has followed to date of proceeding with the relocation work in accordance with laws and ordinances, regardless of the stance taken by Okinawa Prefecture.
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, with regard to the relocation to Henoko, a third party committee submitted a report to the Governor of Okinawa Prefecture, and the Okinawa prefectural government is currently examining whether to rescind the approval for land reclamation work at Henoko. In response to this situation the Government has lodged a request, proposing a temporary halt to relocation work for a one-month period, during which intensive consultations can be held. In these consultations, the Government intends to once again provide detailed explanations concerning its concepts on eliminating the dangers posed by Futenma Air Station and on the relocation to Henoko, as well as the Government’s efforts to realize a tangible reduction in the burden placed on Okinawa. Naturally the Government seeks to ensure that these consultations provide the government of Okinawa with an opportunity to voice its own views, including items that are currently under examination following the submission of the third party committee report.

REPORTER: On a different topic, I have a question concerning the Prime Minister’s attendance at the peace memorial ceremonies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which you mentioned in your opening statement. Strong opposition has been raised by local atomic bomb survivor groups and others to the “Legislation for Peace and Security.” What kind of message do you think the Government should convey on the occasion of the Prime Minister’s visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Just as the Prime Minister himself always makes clear his desire for peace, there is absolutely no change to the Government’s intention to firmly send out a message this year that is the same as those of previous years, namely that as the only country to have ever experienced the horror of nuclear devastation, Japan seeks to ensure that damage from nuclear weapons is never repeated.


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