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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

June 17, 2016 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga


CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Today, at the National Security Council meeting held before the Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister’s approval on anti-piracy operations was finalized. It was decided that the anti-piracy operations by the Self-Defense Forces off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden would be continued until July 23 of next year. Efforts to ensure the safety of maritime transport are essential not only for the Japanese economy and society, and the lives of the Japanese people, but also for the peace and prosperity of the international community. The Government will continue to fulfil this important responsibility.



REPORTER: Yesterday afternoon, an intelligence collection vessel of the Chinese Navy entered Japan’s contiguous zone off Kitadaito Island in Okinawa Prefecture. This vessel sailed through Japan’s territorial waters around Kagoshima Prefecture on the 15th. Can you please comment on this and tell us how the Government is responding?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Following on from a Chinese Navy frigate’s recent entry into Japan’s contiguous zone off the Senkaku Islands, as well as an intelligence collection vessel’s navigation through Japan’s territorial waters, this same intelligence collection vessel entered Japan’s contiguous zone. In light of this, the Government has concerns over the overall activities of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, which is unilaterally escalating its operations in Japan’s surrounding waters.

REPORTER: As you just mentioned, there was also an incident on the 9th in which a Chinese Navy vessel entered the contiguous zone off the Senkaku Islands. What is your analysis with regard to China’s intention behind this series of moves?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In response, the Government is closely monitoring the Chinese Navy’s escalating activities, and until now has lodged protests to China whenever these incidents have occurred. Japan will continue to steadily carry out surveillance activities in Japan’s surrounding waters. 

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject. In the United Kingdom, a female Member of Parliament who was a proponent of remaining in the European Union was shot and killed. There are concerns about its impact on the national referendum. What is the view of the Japanese Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Ms. Jo Cox, a member of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, was shot and stabbed in an assault and has passed away. We express our deepest condolences for Ms. Cox and her family. In addition, we pray for the earliest recovery of the individual who was injured in the attack. As this matter concerns the internal affairs of the United Kingdom, the Government would like to refrain from commenting on the specific details.

REPORTER: I have a related question. At this point in time, it is still unclear if this incident and the national referendum are related. However, what is your opinion regarding the fact that this kind of incident occurred in connection with the national referendum, a political issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I stated moments ago, the Government would like to refrain from commenting as this matter concerns the internal affairs of another country. The Government, however, would like to extend its condolences for the late Ms. Cox.


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