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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 4, 2016 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: I have a question about the issue of relocating Futenma Air Station. Ginowan Mayor Sakima recently asked Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs Shimajiri to reconvene the Council for Promoting the Alleviation of the Burden of Futenma Air Station or create a new forum for consultations between the City and the Government with the aim of suspending operations at Futenma Air Station within five years. He also mentioned his intention to present you with the same request later. How does the Government plan to respond to this request?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am scheduled to meet with the Mayor today after the Budget Committee meeting finishes, and I first intend to listen closely to what he has to say before taking action.

REPORTER: The Mayor is, in a sense, one of the stakeholders in the issue of needing to remove the danger posed by Futenma. Do you think there should be some type of periodic meeting to listen to the Mayor’s opinions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I have also been thinking that this is necessary. There had been such a meeting previously, but Okinawa Prefecture and Ginowan City currently have different views. The Government intends to make adjustments, while taking into account this point.

REPORTER: Changing topic, I have a question related to World Heritage sites. There are reports that the Government might be thinking about withdrawing its recommendation of Churches and Christian Sites in Nagasaki that it had been aiming to register by the summer because of deficiencies cited by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), an advisory body to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Please explain the related facts.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: ICOMOS, an advisory body to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, is currently conducting a review of the Churches and Christian Sites in Nagasaki. Within this process, ICOMOS started exchanging opinions with recommending countries this fiscal year and prepared an interim report for the recommending countries. It is true that ICOMOS has cited a number of items. Following receipt of these items, the Government is currently making adjustments and confirming the views of local people. I would like to refrain from further comments at this stage.


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