Skip to main content

Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  January 2017 >  January 13, 2017 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

January 13, 2017 (AM)

If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
This video's audio is a provisional translation through live simultaneous interpretation.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

(Abridged)

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to report on personnel affairs relating to Supreme Court Justices, which was decided at today's Cabinet meeting. As Supreme Court Justices Ryuko Sakurai and Masaharu Ohashi will be retiring due to reaching the retirement age, the Cabinet has decided to appoint lawyer and professor of the graduate school of Waseda University, Prof. Atsushi Yamaguchi, and former Ambassador of Japan to the United Kingdom, Mr. Keiichi Hayashi, as replacements.

Q&As

REPORTER: I have a question concerning Japan-U.S. relations. Mr. James N. Mattis, who has been nominated by President-elect Trump to become the Secretary of Defense of the United States, has given testimony to a Senate Confirmation Hearing. With regard to alliance relationships, he stated that nations with strong allies thrive and those without them wither, and that it is necessary to live up to treaty obligations with alliance partners. These comments suggest that Mr. Mattis will focus on relations with alliance countries. Can I ask for a comment from the Japanese Government on the statement made by Mr. Mattis?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, as the administration of President-elect Trump has yet to be inaugurated I would like to refrain from making any comment on behalf of the Government with regard to the statement made in the Senate Confirmation Hearing by Mr. Mattis, nominee to become the Secretary of Defense of the United States. What I would say is to reiterate what I have said always, namely that the Japan-U.S. alliance is the cornerstone for Japan’s diplomacy and security policy, and that Japan will work with the administration of President-elect Trump to further strengthen this unwavering alliance, based on relations of trust, and further enhance existing ties between Japan and the United States. There is no change to our stance whatsoever. The Japan-U.S. alliance is all the more important given the increasing severity of the regional security situation, and Japan will continue to actively perform its role, based on the Legislation for Peace and Security and the new Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation.

REPORTER: I have a related question. In the same Senate Confirmation Hearing Mr. Mattis also stated that it is necessary to promote and enlist commensurate support from all allies and that the American taxpayer should not carry a disproportionate part of shared defense. What is the Japanese Government’s outlook regarding the possibility that following the inauguration of the new administration the Government will be requested to bear a greater portion of the costs of the U.S. Forces stationed in Japan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any case, as the administration has yet to be inaugurated I would like to refrain from making any comment. As I have just noted, with the increasingly severe security environment in the Asia-Pacific region the Japan-U.S. alliance plays a critical role in ensuring regional peace and prosperity. Also, the Japan-U.S. alliance is not a framework where only one of the alliance countries benefits. With regard to the costs relating to U.S. Forces in Japan, it is important to ensure an appropriate division of costs between Japan and the United States.

REPORTER: With regard to the costs of U.S. Forces in Japan, which you have just mentioned, it is already the case that Japan currently pays a higher share of the costs than other alliance countries where U.S. Forces are located. Is it the Government’s view that the costs currently paid by Japan are sufficient or appropriate?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It is the Government’s view that the costs are appropriately shared between Japan and the United States.

REPORTER: In his statement to the Senate Confirmation Hearing Mr. Mattis expressed a strong sense of caution with regard to Russia and China. What is the Japanese Government’s view of this stance?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any event, as far as we can tell from the statement made by Mr. Mattis, he vowed that alliances are of vital importance. The Government of Japan believes therefore that we can continue to work closely with the Government of the United States following the inauguration of the Trump administration and the appointment of the new cabinet.

(Abridged)

Page Top

Related Link