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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

August 22, 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: Circumstances permitting, Prime Minister Abe will pay an official visit to Kenya to attend the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) from August 25 to 29. This will be a historic TICAD meeting, held in Africa for the first time. Coinciding with the Prime Minister’s visit, members from a range of sectors including the business community will visit Kenya. Japan will send out a message in order to strongly support development in Africa through public-private collaboration. I would also like to add that this will be the first visit to Kenya by a Japanese Prime Minister in 15 years. We hope to make this official visit an opportunity to deepen bilateral cooperative relations with Kenya, which is steering economic growth in Africa. 


REPORTER: All events at the Rio Olympic Games have now come to an end. Japan took home a record 41 medals. Can you please share your evaluation? Can you also tell us how the Government will be involved in the preparations for the Tokyo Games, including with respect to measures to strengthen athletes?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, I gather that the Japanese people had several days of sleepless nights because of the daily outstanding performance put in by Japanese athletes on the other side of the earth. In these Games, Japan won 41 medals including 12 gold medals, which is more than the record high from the previous Games and is the most number of medals Japan has ever won. I imagine that the daily medal rush generated much excitement among the Japanese people. I believe seeing the efforts of the athletes taught the Japanese people about the importance of working hard towards their dreams and never giving up. I would like to express my deep respect to the members of the Japanese Olympic Team. Soon the Paralympic Games will be starting. We hope that the Olympic Games that ended on a high note contributes to the successful performance of the Japanese Paralympic Team, with the Paralympic athletes being able to fully demonstrate the outcomes of their daily practices and bring dreams and inspiration to the Japanese people. After the Paralympic Games will be the Tokyo Games. The success of the Japanese Olympic Team built up maximum excitement and, I believe, provided a great start to the Tokyo Games. The Government will continue to work with the organizers—the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Organising Committee—to provide full supports to make Tokyo the best games ever. 


REPORTER: In yesterday’s NHK program, you said that establishing an advisory council was one idea for the Government’s response to the views expressed by His Majesty the Emperor. Does this mean that the Government is considering the establishment of an advisory council?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, regarding the message from His Majesty, as the Prime Minister stated, the Government takes seriously that His Majesty has addressed the people of Japan, and with regard to the nature of His Majesty’s official duties and public activities, in view of His Majesty’s age and heavy duties and activities, we need to give thought to the strain they place upon His Majesty and carefully consider what we can do. This is what the Prime Minister stated. It is set out that the Emperor is the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power. Therefore, we view that we need to keep this in mind in continuing to consider this matter. The Government is now examining how it will address this matter, including establishing an advisory council.


REPORTER: I would like to ask about the detainment of a Japanese national in Kunashiri Island. A Japanese male interpreter visiting Kunashiri Island on a non-visa exchange program to the Four Northern Islands was detained on the 20th for allegedly not passing the baggage inspection by Russian authorities. Can the Government share its comments?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to begin with the facts. The Japanese delegation you just referred to returned to port in Nemuro on the morning of the 21st. However, just one member was suddenly subject to baggage inspection by local authorities shortly before leaving Kunashiri Island, and as a result, had to be questioned and remains in Kunashiri Island. Japan, through diplomatic channels, is requesting Russia to allow this member to swiftly return to port in Nemuro. In addition, Japan is strongly asserting that this act, which assumes Russian jurisdiction over the Northern Territories, is unacceptable in light of Japan’s legal position and is extremely regrettable.


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