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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

July 26, 2016 (AM)

If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
Simultaneous interpretation services for this video are provided by a third party.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga


CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Today, the Headquarters for Ocean Policy convened a meeting. Discussions took place regarding the Measures toward Strengthening Japan’s Ability to Discern Marine Conditions and a partial revision of the Basic Policy concerning Preservation and Management of Remote Islands for Management of the Sea, respectively, which were then approved by the Headquarters. Based on today’s approvals, we will promote capacity-enhancement in maritime domain awareness (MDA), including developing the Marine Conditions Display System. In addition, we will advance measures for the protection of inhabited remote island areas and the maintenance of regional society.



REPORTER: My question is in regard to the meeting of the Headquarters for Ocean Policy which you introduced in your opening statement. Can you please explain once again why you compiled and approved MDA capacity-enhancement measures at this timing?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, MDA is needed to efficiently understand the maritime domain by effectively consolidating and sharing various maritime-related information. Specifically, we aim to make the Marine Conditions Display System a system that has greater reach, speed, and convenience by consolidating in one place the various information possessed by ministries and agencies that manage and disclose maritime information, and by adding new maritime information such as satellite data. We expect that today’s approvals will enable the implementation of more effective and efficient measures, not only to ensure the maritime security of Japan, but also to protect the waters, respond to natural disasters, protect the maritime environment, and revitalize the maritime industry. 

REPORTER: I would like to ask a related question. China has been actively making forays into the East China Sea and the South China Sea. Are the new measures also in response to these activities?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Not at all. The new system was created to consolidate in one place various maritime information that the different ministries and agencies had and to share this information, and thereby, enable an understanding of the overall maritime domain in an efficient manner. 

REPORTER: Residents of a care center for persons with disabilities in Sagamihara City were stabbed, and 19 people have died so far. Can you please state the Government’s comments regarding this incident? Secondly, can you tell us whether the Government may consider reviewing the safety measures at social welfare facilities, including care centers for persons with disabilities?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to provide an overview of the incident. Today, before dawn, at a care center for persons with disabilities in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture, numerous residents were stabbed and consequently killed or injured by a man carrying knives who broke into the care center. We have been briefed that a 26-year old man who turned himself into the police was arrested on the spot for trespassing into a building and for attempted murder. We have been informed that as of now 19 men and women are dead and over 20 people are injured. This is a very heartrending and shocking incident that took the lives of many innocent people. I would like to offer my deepest sympathies to the victims and condolences to their families. In addition, my prayers go to those who have been wounded. The police are now conducting investigations to uncover the truth of this case.


REPORTER: I would like to change the subject to Japan-ROK relations. My question is about the 1 billion yen contribution to the foundation that the Government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) will be launching at the end of this month for the purpose of providing support for former comfort women. Some media reported that the Japanese Government has decided to contribute 1 billion yen as early as next month. What is the current status of the arrangements?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, we have been informed that the ROK is now making the final arrangements for establishing the foundation by the end of this month. We have not decided when exactly Japan will provide funds to the foundation. In any case, it is vital that the Japanese and ROK Governments take responsibility to implement the Japan-ROK agreement, as was confirmed at the recent Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit and the Japan-ROK foreign ministers’ meeting on July 25. Japan will continue to work closely with the ROK.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Does the Government perceive that for both sides to execute the Japan-ROK agreement in good faith, the contribution of funds should take place as soon as possible once the foundation is launched?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any case, what was announced at the joint press conference between Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida and Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-se says everything about the agreement reached at the end of last year. In any case, it is vital that Japan and the ROK respectively take responsibility to implement the Japan-ROK agreement.


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