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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

August 31, 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


If various conditions permit, Prime Minister Abe will visit Vladivostok (Russia) on September 2-3 to attend the Eastern Economic Forum and hold a Japan-Russia Summit Meeting. Additionally, Prime Minister Abe will attend the G20 Summit being held in Hangzhou (China) from September 4 and ASEAN-related Summit Meetings taking place in Laos from September 6. The Japan-Russia Summit Meeting is likely to involve discussions of the full range of Japan-Russia relations in a wide range of areas, including as a precursor to a visit by President Putin to Japan. In particular, frank exchanges by the two leaders are vital to moving forward with the issue of concluding a peace treaty, and Prime Minister Abe intends to discuss the issue with strong resolve with this in mind. At the G20 Summit, Prime Minister Abe plans to encourage cooperative action by G20 countries and promote realization of specific results as the G20 with the aim of achieving sustainable growth in the global economy at a time when it confronts a variety of downside risks, such as slower momentum in the economies of emerging and developing countries, and the UK’s exit from the European Union. At the ASEAN-related Summit Meetings, the ASEAN + 3 Summit Meeting, the Japan-ASEAN Summit Meeting, and other meetings, Prime Minister Abe intends to engage in discussions with leaders of other countries regarding a wide range of areas, including cooperation with ASEAN, which arrives at the 50th anniversary of its formation next year, and initiatives toward regional peace and stability.




REPORTER: I have a question about the Japan-Russia relationship regarding the timing of a visit to Japan by President Putin that you mentioned above. The Russian President’s Assistant disclosed to a group of journalists that the President’s trip to Japan is slated for December. Please explain the current state of coordination between the two governments.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The leaders agreed at the Sochi Summit Meeting that they would look for the most appropriate timing for a visit to Japan by President Putin. I expect final adjustments to occur at the upcoming Vladivostok Summit Meeting and other opportunities for Summit-level dialogue.

REPORTER: You mentioned the most appropriate timing. Does the Japanese Government want to realize the visit to Japan at the earliest possible timing?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The two sides have already agreed to look for timing that is appropriate, and now it is just a matter of proposing a suitable schedule in mutual communication, and then reaching a final decision.

REPORTER: I understand that you will be coordinating the specific timing. If a visit to Japan by President Putin is realized, what type of results is Japan expecting in regards to progress with the Northern Territories issue, including at the Summit Meeting on September 2?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The two leaders agreed at the Sochi Summit Meeting in May to earnestly proceed in negotiations toward a solution that is acceptable to both sides with a new approach that it not restricted by past concepts. Japan is looking for frank discussions with a constructive stance at the upcoming Summit Meeting. I would like to refrain from predicting anything more at this stage.

REPORTER: I have a question about Prime Minister Abe’s travels mentioned at the start. Can you explain the current state of coordination for a Japan-China Summit Meeting and a Japan-Republic of Korea Summit Meeting on the occasion of the G20 Meeting in Hangzhou (China) and the ASEAN-related Summit Meetings in Laos?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Nothing has been decided on bilateral summit meetings other than the Japan-Russia Summit Meeting in Vladivostok at this point. Coordination is still taking place.


REPORTER: I want to change topics to the Japan-Republic of Korea (RoK) relationship. I think the Japanese Government decided to contribute one billion yen to an organization that aims to give support to former comfort women at the Cabinet Meeting on August 24. The RoK’s new Ambassador to Japan Lee Joon-gyu commented to reporters on August 25 that the RoK is working to arrange the contribution within August. It is currently the end of August. Has Japan made the contribution at this point?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan and the RoK reached an agreement at the end of last year. It included a contribution of one billion yen from the Japanese Government’s budget to a foundation. This was the agreement. The Japanese Government will have met its obligation based on the Japan-RoK agreement once it completes issuance of the funds. I think the key point is proper implementation of the Japan-RoK agreement by both countries. This is important. The Cabinet has already approved the contribution, so I believe it is just a matter of coordination.


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