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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 20, 2017 (PM)

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]

Q&As

REPORTER: I would like to ask about the discussions regarding the nature of His Majesty the Emperor's abdication. The Diet's thoughts on the matter are expected to be compiled by around the middle of next month. Around when does the Government expect to submit a bill to the Diet?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any case, hearings with the various political parties are being conducted in a quiet environment under the leadership of the chair and vice-chairpersons of the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors. We would like to firmly watch over that process.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject. During the weekend, China announced that it would halt imports of coal produced in North Korea until the end of the year. This will likely have a major blow to North Korea. How does the Japanese Government evaluate China's recent measure?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, on the 18th, China's Ministry of Commerce  announced that it would temporarily halt imports of coal produced in North Korea until the end of 2017. The Government of Japan has noted that China plays an extremely important role in ensuring the effectiveness of relevant United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions. Japan will continue to closely observe the state of China's implementation of the Security Council resolutions. At the same time, Japan, in close collaboration with the United States and other relevant countries as well as the UN, will urge China to ensure strict and full implementation of the Security Council resolutions.

REPORTER: I have a related question. You stated moments ago that China plays an extremely important role. I imagine that greater involvement is expected from China, which has a strong influence on North Korea. What is your outlook regarding the recent decision by China in regard to its role in suppressing North Korea's provocations going forward and the likelihood that it will suppress the provocations of North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government has indeed considered that China plays an extremely important role in ensuring the effectiveness of the Security Council resolutions. Therefore, the Government has closely followed and will continue to follow the implementation of China's sanctions, and will work closely with the relevant countries in this regard.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject and ask about the peacekeeping operations (PKO) in South Sudan. In the explanation from opposition parties after today's directors' meeting  of the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives, opposition parties made a request to Committee Chairman  Hamada to establish an investigation committee in relation to the daily reports of the South Sudan PKO, and it was explained that a positive response was received from Chairman Hamada. Does this mean that the Government will establish an investigation committee of the Ministry of Defense?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am not aware of that matter. The Government will of course watch over the deliberations of the Committee.

(Abridged)

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