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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

April 28, 2016 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom and Russia from May 1 to May 7, and meet with the leaders and other individuals in each country. Through the series of visits to European countries, the Prime Minister would like to conduct exchanges of opinion on the main themes that will be discussed at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit with each country, and further deepen relations, towards achieving a successful meeting. In addition, during his visit to Russia, the Prime Minister plans to conduct an exchange of opinions about the overall Japan-Russia relationship, including the peace treaty signing issue, as well as about various issues facing the international community.




REPORTER: The San Francisco Peace Treaty entered into force 64 years ago today. Three years ago, the Government held a Ceremony to Commemorate the Anniversary of Japan’s Restoration of Sovereignty, which drew backlash from the people of Okinawa. On that note, I have three questions. First, can you once again explain how the Government views this anniversary, including about Okinawa?  

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government held a ceremony three years ago to commemorate the anniversary of Japan’s restoration of sovereignty. However, sovereignty was not restored in Okinawa Prefecture and Amami in the same manner as the mainland. During that time, the people of Okinawa and Amami endured many hardships. We will not forget about these hardships. As sovereignty has now been returned to Japan, the Government is committed to realizing the development and promotion of Okinawa.

REPORTER: Secondly, the Government has stated that it hoped to hold the ceremony every five or ten years or so. What is the plan exactly? For example, will it be a celebration? What is the plan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I expect that in holding the ceremony, the ceremony will be sensitive to the history of the people of Okinawa and to the people of Amami who walked this path of hardship. 


REPORTER: I have a related question. It is about the activities of North Korea. North Korea has announced that a Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea would be held from May 6 for the first time in 36 years. As you stated a short while ago, there are concerns over North Korea’s provocations. So far, have you detected any signs of a nuclear test or missile launch?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Since the beginning of this year, North Korea has conducted a nuclear test, ballistic missile launches, and short-range missile launches—provocative language and actions. Japan, the United States, and the Republic of Korea (ROK) are constantly working together to collect and analyze intelligence regarding the activities of North Korea. While you just referred to a specific date, the Government is always conducting surveillance with strong concerns over the situation in North Korea. As I stated moments ago, the three countries of Japan, the United States, and the ROK are working closely to collect and analyze intelligence in this context.

REPORTER: I have a question in connection with the previous question. Some media reported that under these circumstances, the Government is extending the order for destruction measures by another month to the end of next month. Is this true?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of the media reports, but I would like to refrain from commenting on the details. Having said that, I would like to say that we, with the Self-Defense Forces at the center, are committed to conducting surveillance in order to be able to secure the lives and peaceful daily lives of the Japanese people in any situation.

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