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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 18, 2016 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Government’s response to the launch of a ballistic missile by North Korea. I believe that a shoot-down order was issued by the Minister of Defense. Could you tell us the facts behind the reason for the issuance of this order and when it was issued?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, from the perspective of taking all possible response measures to secure the lives and property of the people of Japan in any situation, the Government ensures that the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) is ready to take all required measures. However, with regard to the specific response, I would like to refrain from going into detail due to the nature of the matter. In any event, the Government is making all necessary responses to fully protect the lives, property and peaceful livelihoods of the Japanese people.


REPORTER: It has been reported that at the general meeting of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday, the Prime Minister stated that this year will be a very important year. What is your view about the ways in which this year will be an important one?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any event, this is the year in which Japan is chairing the G7 Summit, so I believe that the Prime Minister was saying that this year would be a very important one for Japan in that context.

REPORTER: Although the Prime Minister did not make any explicit references to how this would be an important year, the way he said it seemed to suggest that it would be important in more ways than the G7 Summit, and there is various speculation about the expectations and concerns that he could have been referring to. What are your thoughts on this point?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I do not know whether the Prime Minister was referring to anything more than the G7 Summit. In any case, as Japan is chairing the summit this year, in that sense that is the most important thing for Japan. At the same time, however, it is also a fact that not just this year, but every year, Japan faces a constant stream of important issues.


REPORTER: I have a question on a different topic. Today a competitive training drill was held to improve response capabilities for a cyberattack. Could you tell us how the Government intends to utilize such drills in the run up to events such as the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Cyber security measures are vitally important for all ministries and agencies and for Japan as a nation. This was the second drill of its kind, following on from last year, and the competitive format for the drill, involving all participating ministries and agencies, is also extremely important as it helps to maintain a heightened sense of alert. National security and crisis management are important challenges and I believe it is very important for all ministries and agencies to engage in such measures through this drill.


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