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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

December 1, 2015 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: A short while ago, the Mayor of Ginowan City in Okinawa Prefecture and members of nine groups submitted requests to you. The requests consist of four items. They requested that Futenma Air Station be returned as quickly as possible and that the dangers it poses be eliminated, that the Government steadily alleviate the burden of Futenma Air Station in a visible manner, that the Osprey aircraft be relocated, and that noise damage be mitigated. How will the Government respond to these requests?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, as you just stated, a short while ago I met with Mayor Atsushi Sakima of Ginowan City and the representatives of nine groups. I received their requests to close Futenma Air Station as quickly as possible, to realize the return of Futenma Air Station, to eliminate the dangers in a visible manner, and to alleviate the burden. Incumbent Mayor Sakima, who is in a position to secure the safe lives of the people of the city, explained the situation to me once again. I have also made numerous visits myself. I have come away with a renewed determination that we must never allow Futenma Air Station to remain at its location indefinitely, where a primary school and the so-called world’s most dangerous air station are adjoined by a single sheet of wire mesh, and furthermore, that the dangers it poses must be eliminated as quickly as possible. The Abe administration will do everything possible to alleviate the burden of the bases in Okinawa. It will translate words into action in a visible manner. Nearly 20 years have passed since an agreement was reached between Japan and the United States, and the dangers posed by Futenma Air Station still remain. Therefore, the Government is committed to eliminating the dangers and closing the air station as quickly as possible.


REPORTER: I have a question regarding Prime Minister Abe’s visit to India and the negotiations to conclude a nuclear agreement. Today, the Government announced that Prime Minister Abe would visit India from the 11th to the 13th. What is the Government’s opinion on whether or not it would aim to conclude a Japan-India nuclear agreement to coincide with the summit meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, the nuclear agreement is currently being negotiated between the Governments of Japan and India. Nothing has been decided with regard to the outcomes that will be achieved during the Prime Minister’s visit. That is the current situation.

REPORTER: India is advancing its own nuclear weapons policy without acceding to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). On the other hand, India has taken some steps to gain the understanding of the international community, including signing the Additional Protocol regarding surprise inspections of nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). What is the Government’s assessment of India’s nuclear policy? Does it consider that Japan can export nuclear plant technology to India as long as the conditions are met? Can you please share your views?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, it remains unchanged that Japan intends to deepen its cooperation in a wide range of areas with India, which is Japan’s special strategic partner. As you just stated, India has not concluded the NPT. The Government is aware that nuclear cooperation between Japan and India is open to various debates. However, it is also true that in recent years, India has made various efforts that contribute to strengthening international non-proliferation mechanisms. In addition, since 2008, countries such as the United States, France, the Republic of Korea, and Canada have newly concluded nuclear agreements with India. Japan’s position of aiming to maintain and strengthen the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation posture centered around the NPT and abiding by the universality of the NPT remains completely unchanged. At every opportunity Japan will urge India to conclude the NPT.


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