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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

July 4, 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 Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Hagiuda

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HAGIUDA: Shortly past 1 AM today, July 4, the government aircraft carrying the families arrived in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kihara and Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Watanabe were there to meet them and explained what had transpired. Yesterday, State Minister Kihara requested Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh that all possible measures are taken during the visit by the families, and Prime Minister Hasina responded that Bangladesh would provide full support for the families. At this time, in Dhaka, we understand that with the cooperation of the Bangladeshi side, best efforts are being made bearing in mind the wishes of the families. Specifically, we have been briefed that this morning, local time, some of the families are visiting the facility where the bodies are resting. In addition, we are aware that arrangements are being made for the remaining families to visit this facility this morning, local time, based on the wishes of the families. This is a very trying time for the families. The Government stands with the families and will continue to provide all possible support. The Government will make every effort for their swift return to Japan.


REPORTER: Do you have any information on around when the families and the bodies will be able to return to Japan?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HAGIUDA: As I have reported just now, the respective families have different wishes. After they have seen the bodies, we will make preparations for their quickest possible return to Japan. We do not know yet what time this will be.

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the incident. Based on what the local media has reported about the situation at the time of the incident, it is believed that the group which carried out the incident targeted foreign nationals who were not followers of Islam. What is the Government’s current analysis with regard to the objectives of the group behind this incident and its underlying situation?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HAGIUDA: We are aware that a group called “ISIL Bangladesh” issued a statement claiming responsibility. However, the local police are now investigating the details, including the background behind this case. The Government of Japan will work with the Government of Bangladesh and continue to make efforts to collect information.


REPORTER: This morning, the Okinawa Prefectural Police arrested a U.S. serviceman for drunk driving. What is your view of this situation where members of the U.S. Forces are being arrested almost every weekend? Is the Japanese Government considering making any requests to the U.S. side?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HAGIUDA: We are aware that at around 4:05 AM today, a U.S. Air Force personnel was arrested in Chatan Town, Okinawa Prefecture on charges of violating the Road Traffic Act due to drunk driving. No incidents or accidents by U.S. Forces personnel should be taking place. In this regard, this incident is deeply regrettable. After receiving the report of this incident, the Government immediately lodged a protest to the United States and requested thorough measures to ensure the prevention of recurrences. Japan and the United States are currently holding consultations regarding reviewing the treatment of U.S. personnel with Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) status, including the civilian component. The two sides are now in the final stages of consultations to swiftly establish effective recurrence prevention measures. The Government is committed to ensuring that these measures can be announced at an early date.

REPORTER: I have a related question. You stated that Japan requested the prevention of recurrences. Can you tell us specifically who made the request to whom?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HAGIUDA: The Okinawa Defense Bureau of the Ministry of Defense made a request to the External Affairs Division of the Public Affairs Office of the U.S. Air Forces in Okinawa. In addition, the Japan-U.S. SOFA Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a request to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.


REPORTER: I would like to return to the terror attack in Bangladesh. Has the Government received any updates from State Minister Kihara who is now dealing with the situation in Bangladesh?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HAGIUDA: State Minister Kihara has briefed that after arriving in Dhaka in the early hours of July 3, local time, he held a series of meetings with dignitaries, including Prime Minister Hasina, Foreign Minister Ali, and Minister of Home Affairs Khan, and stated to them that Japan firmly condemns terrorism, requests the utmost support for the families and so that the bodies will be returned to Japan in a timely manner, and requests utmost respect regarding the fact that the individuals who were victims in this attack were contributing to the development of Bangladesh and requests support in this regard. In response, Prime Minister Hasina and the other officials expressed their deep condolences to the victims, and committed to extending maximum cooperation on the requests made by the Japanese side, including support for the families and the return of the bodies to Japan in a timely manner. Furthermore, in the evening of July 3, local time, State Minister Kihara was at the airport to meet the families that arrived in Dhaka on the government aircraft and explained the situation. We understand that thereafter the State Minister has been with the families to see the bodies. We have been briefed that the State Minister made two visits to the site of the incident.


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