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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

December 20, 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: Before the Cabinet meeting today, a meeting of the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters was held at which the Basic Guidelines for Accelerating the Reconstruction of Fukushima from the Nuclear Disaster were decided. These guidelines were formulated based on requests from the local communities and recommendations from the ruling parties issued in August, and show the basic direction of future measures for the reconstruction of Fukushima. Specifically they stipulate actions such as taking the necessary legal measures in the next ordinary session of the Diet for matters such as establishing reconstruction bases in difficult-to-return-to areas. The Prime Minister instructed the relevant ministers to work closely together to flesh out a roadmap for the reconstruction and restoration of Fukushima. The entire Government will continue responding firmly to this issue.


REPORTER: An incident occurred in Berlin, Germany in which a large-sized truck crashed into an outdoor market causing many casualties and injuries. There are indications that it may have been a terror incident in which the truck was intentionally crashed. What is the Government’s view regarding this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, we are aware that a large-sized truck crashed into a Christmas market in central Berlin, Germany early this morning Japan time, resulting in many casualties and injuries. The Government expresses its heartfelt condolences to the people who lost their lives and the bereaved families, and prays for the earliest possible recovery of those injured. Japan expresses its solidarity with the German Government and the German people. Furthermore, we have not received information at this time that any Japanese nationals were involved.

REPORTER: Does the Japanese Government consider that this incident may have been a terror attack?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: With regard to detailed information including the background of this incident, as the German authorities are still conducting an investigation, Japan will also continue to work to collect information.

REPORTER: In July, there was a similar terror incident in which a truck ploughed into a crowd in Nice, France. What initiatives does Japan consider necessary to prevent this sort of terror incident from occurring?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, I consider information to be most critical in preventing these terror incidents. Taking into account the severe terrorism situation, the Government established the Counter Terrorism Unit - Japan (CTU-J) at the end of last year and has strengthened the organization since then. We are also strengthening the international terrorism information acquisition and aggregation system which is under the direct control of the Prime Minister’s Office. Additionally, the Government is further enhancing the joint measures of the public and private sectors against terrorism, including border control security measures, and security for critical facilities and soft targets. In particular, as Japan will be hosting the Rugby World Cup and the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, we will cooperate even more closely with the international community and take all possible measures with a sense of urgency.


REPORTER: I would like to change the subject and ask about the incident in Turkey. The Russian Ambassador to Turkey in Ankara was shot and killed by a male assailant. What is the Japanese Government’s comment on this incident?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Japanese Government strongly condemns the killing of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, and cannot tolerate such acts of terrorism. Furthermore, the Government expresses its deepest condolences to the Ambassador who lost his life, his bereaved family, and the people of Russia. Japan expresses its solidarity with the Russian Government and the people of Russia. In response to this incident, we are aware that a telephone summit meeting was already held between Russia and Turkey. We expect that the truth of the incident will be revealed through the cooperation of the two countries.


REPORTER: I would like to change the topic and ask about the resumption of Osprey flights. This morning Mayor Atsushi Sakima of Ginowan City visited the U.S. Forces headquarters and strongly protested against the flights, requesting the cessation of flight operations. With opposition strengthening in Okinawa Prefecture, how does the Government intend to gain the understanding of the communities?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government considers the assurance of safety to be an absolute precondition in regard to the flights of U.S. Forces (aircraft). The accident involving the Osprey aircraft caused a great deal of distress to the people there, and is extremely regrettable. Yesterday the Government explained the resumption of flight operations as thoroughly as possible to the communities, including Okinawa. The Government will continue to provide careful explanations to the communities regarding the resumption of flight operations. The Government will also steadily carry out the necessary measures, such as gathering information and quickly sharing information when it is received from the U.S. side.

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