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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

January 18, 2016 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: I have a question regarding the Taiwanese presidential election. Dr. Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party won a landslide victory. Can you please share the view of the Japanese Government? Dr. Tsai Ing-wen has indicated that she would give priority to Taiwan-Japan relations. What kind of a relationship will the two countries be developing? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, I would like to congratulate Dr. Tsai on her victory. Taiwan is an important partner and a precious friend of Japan. We share basic values and enjoy a close economic relationship and people-to-people exchange. The Government of Japan will work towards further deepening exchanges between Japan and Taiwan, based on the existing position to maintain Japan-Taiwan relations as a working relationship on a non-governmental basis.

REPORTER: I have a related question. In the election, the biggest issue was the relationship with China. It is considered unlikely that Dr. Tsai Ing-wen will recognize the “one China” concept. What is your perception in this regard?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, we expect that the issue surrounding Taiwan will continue to be resolved peacefully by direct dialogue between the concerned parties and that it will contribute to the peace and stability of the region.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question in connection with Iran’s nuclear agreement. Six countries, including the United States and France, announced that they would lift sanctions on Iran based on the curbing of its nuclear program in accordance with the nuclear agreement. Can you please share your comments?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, the Government welcomes that the final agreement has reached the phase of implementation as a result of the strenuous efforts made by all the negotiating parties and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). For strengthening the international non-proliferation regime and the stability of the Middle East, it is critically important that the final agreement will continue to be implemented. Japan will actively support its implementation, including activities of the IAEA which has assumed the responsibilities for its monitoring and verification. At the same time, Japan will further strengthen the historically friendly relationship with Iran. Japan will encourage Iran to play a further role towards the realization of the peace and stability of the Middle East through promotion of confidence building with the region and the international community. With regard to the lifting of sanctions, on reaching “Implementation Day,” the Government will coordinate with the relevant ministries and agencies to lift the measures on Iran, among other measures, and then swiftly implement measures in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolution.

REPORTER: Following this lifting of sanctions, it is expected that countries will accelerate their efforts to deepen economic cooperation with Iran and enter its market. What support schemes does the Government intend to create to facilitate Japanese companies’ entry into the Iranian market?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, our view is that the lifting of the measures on Iran by the United States, the EU, and other countries will create a climate conducive to the growth of the infrastructure activities of Japanese companies. Through the signing of investment agreements and other measures, the Government of Japan will further extend steady supports for the activities of Japanese companies.


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