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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

April 19, 2016 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga


At today’s Cabinet meeting, we decided to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change that was adopted at last December’s 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21). Accordingly, Japan is set to sign the agreement at the signing ceremony to be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York on the 22nd of this month. The Paris Agreement is an agreement participated in by all parties for the implementation of fair and effective climate change measures. April 22 marks the opening day for parties’ signature of this agreement. Japan considers it deeply significant that it joins many other countries in signing the agreement on opening day. Climate change is an urgent issue that requires the collective efforts of the international community. Japan is committed to contributing to ensure that the efforts can make progress in accordance with this agreement.




REPORTER: I have a related question. Is the situation improving so far as the transport of relief supplies is concerned as well as the system of their distribution to the affected people?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are taking steps in coordination with the affected areas, which lasted late into the evening yesterday as well. In any case, in addition to appointing lead officers in the respective areas, the Government will dispatch government personnel who are acquainted with these areas in Kumamoto Prefecture. Based on this robust system, the Government will make every effort to respond to the requests of the affected people as much as possible.

REPORTER: A related question. What is the current status of the arrangements with regard to the dispatch of personnel that you just referred to?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We already have 25 personnel who are registered. Their dispatch destinations are being consulted about with the local disaster management headquarters. In particular, as I stated moments ago, the ministries and agencies have selected mainly personnel who are from the affected region, have worked there, or are knowledgeable about the local situation. By the evening of the 18th, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has dispatched personnel to Mashiki Town, Minamiaso Village, and Uto City. Personnel will continue to be dispatched swiftly to the affected municipalities to be able to promptly communicate the wishes and views of the affected areas to the Government.

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the designation as a Disaster of Extreme Severity. Some media have reported that arrangements are being made to adopt a Cabinet decision on the designation as a Disaster of Extreme Severity as early as next week. What is the status of the arrangements?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We have not yet made a decision. In any case, we will take such responses promptly based on the Prime Minister’s strong urge to do everything that is possible.


REPORTER: I would like to change the subject and ask about the situation in North Korea. I understand that President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea instructed that surveillance should be enhanced, saying that there are signs that North Korea will conduct a nuclear test. Is the Japanese Government aware of any signs?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I say every time, we are of course aware of these news reports, and the Government is following North Korea’s nuclear and missile activities to the maximum extent. In this context, we are also collecting and analyzing information. However, I would like to refrain from disclosing its content due to the nature of the matter. The Self-Defense Forces are taking responses with a sense of urgency to ensure the Government can respond to any situation.

REPORTER: Is it the Government understanding that there is a possibility North Korea will proceed with a nuclear test in the near future?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are collecting and analyzing information carefully.


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