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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

October 18, 2016 (PM)

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]



REPORTER: I have a question on a different subject. I believe that with regard to the negotiations on the Northern Territories, the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) has presented a petition to you, which notes that even if an agreement is reached on the return of two of the four Northern Islands, this would not constitute a final resolution of the issue and that until it is finally resolved there should be no conclusion of a peace treaty with Russia. What are your thoughts on this petition?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I received a written request from JCP Chair Kazuo Shii concerning the issue of the Northern Territories. Mr. Shii provided me with an explanation about the contents of the request. I responded that I had duly recognized the JCP’s opinions and that the Government would engage in negotiations under its consistent policy of seeking to reach a settlement over the issue of the attribution of the four Northern Islands and conclude a peace treaty. Although there have been reports in the press about the Government policy being to proceed with negotiations with a view to first gaining the return of two islands, I explained that this is not the case. I also explained that the Government’s consistent stance is that the four Northern Islands are an inherent part of the territory of Japan and that there is absolutely no change to the Government’s policy of seeking conclude a peace treaty after having settled the matter of the attribution of the four Northern Islands. The Government will continue to engage in tenacious negotiations in this regard.

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Tokyo Olympics. Governor Koike of Tokyo has recently held a meeting with Mr. Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in which she explained that consideration is being given to revising the plans for event sites with a view to reducing costs. President Bach responded that there is potential to significantly reduce costs. What are your views on the series of measures to reduce costs relating to the Olympics, including the recent meeting between Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the IOC?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I think that this is a matter that Tokyo Metropolitan Government, as the host city, and the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Organizing Committee), as the organizer of the Games, should engage in thorough discussions together.

REPORTER: During the meeting with Governor Koike, President Bach proposed the establishment of a four-party working group on cost reduction, comprising Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Organizing Committee, the IOC and the national Government. How does the Government intend to respond to this proposal?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of the reports on this matter, but as Minister Marukawa in charge of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games is scheduled to have a meeting with President Bach today from 5:30 p.m., I would like to refrain from making any comment. In any event, the Olympic and Paralympic Games are events that Tokyo bid to host and for which the Organizing Committee is responsible for preparations and arrangements, so I think that first of all it will be important for these two parties to set out a direction about how to proceed.

REPORTER: With regard to the cost of the Games, there are opinions both Tokyo and the Organizing Committee that the Government should provide further funds. If a formal request is made for further funding, will the Government make additional funds available?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have already noted, I think that it is important for Tokyo, as the host city, and the Organizing Committee, as the body responsible for organizing the Games, to respond to this matter thoroughly.

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