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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

December 8, 2015 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga


Today, the Ministerial Meeting Concerning Measures Against Crime was held following the Cabinet meeting. At the meeting, there was a briefing on the new counter-terrorism measures which were recently decided at the meeting of the Headquarters for the Promotion of Measures Against Transnational Organized Crime and Other Relative Issues and International Terrorism. The Prime Minister said it was important that the Government further strengthen the implementation of various counter-terrorism measures. He instructed that in particular, the Counter Terrorism Unit - Japan, with the Prime Minister’s Office serving as the control tower, lead the counter-terrorism effort, in coordination with the international community. In addition, steps to prevent repeated offenses and the status of progress of measures against crime, among other matters, were briefed and decided. An official will be providing a briefing on the details.

Today, the 11th meeting of the Strategic Headquarters for Space Development was held following the Cabinet meeting, and the draft revised version of the work schedule of the Basic Plan on Space Policy was approved. The Prime Minister stated, “We will promote the space sector as one of the pillars in our productivity revolution aimed at achieving a GDP of 600 trillion yen. In particular, we will support the private-sector development and use of space.” The Prime Minister instructed that under Minister Shimajiri’s leadership, ministers steadily implement the revised work schedule and advance “space strategy on the offensive.”



REPORTER: I have a question regarding the situation in Syria. In 2011, the Government led by the Democratic Party of Japan at the time announced that Japan would stop providing new economic cooperation to the Assad regime in Syria. The Abe administration has upheld this policy. However, our reporting has revealed that this year, from January to March, the Government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a contract to provide approximately 2.5 billion yen for the repair and restoration of thermal power plants under the control of the Assad regime, as a project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Is the Government aware of this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In 2011, Japan decided to stop implementing new economic cooperation projects for Syria, except for assistance of an emergency and humanitarian nature. This policy remains unchanged even now. The assistance you just referred to was implemented through the UNDP as emergency humanitarian assistance, in order to supply electricity needed for the lives of the Syrian people who are living in a tough environment, affected by the crisis in Syria. Japan has been providing emergency and humanitarian assistance, irrespective of whether the recipient area is under the control of the Assad regime, and we have made this public. Therefore, this is not assistance for the Assad regime but rather humanitarian assistance.


REPORTER: I have a question regarding India’s high-speed railway program. It has been reported that Japan and India will agree on the adoption of the Shinkansen system when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits India. What is the status of the arrangements?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the details of the Prime Minister’s upcoming visit to India are being prepared and coordinated with the Indian side, and nothing has been decided.

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