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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 29, 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]

Q&As

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question regarding a different matter. It is about the outcome of a review of specially designated secrets. Today, the Board of Oversight and Review of Specially Designated Secrets  of the House of Representatives compiled a report regarding the outcome of its review of specially designated secrets. The report included such opinions as requesting the Government to set forth more appropriate provisions, taking into consideration that in an increasing number of cases, specially designated secrets were being designated in advance without any detailed information. How does the Government intend to move forward?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government will carefully examine the content of the report and consider the necessary measures, fully taking into account the purport of the report. In addition, the Government will continue to take measures in good faith in response to the reviews of the Board.

REPORTER: I have a related question. The report also talks about disclosing the discussions of the National Security Council (NSC). The report notes that further reviews need to be conducted because the Government has refused to disclose transcripts and so on. The previous report also made note of disclosing information related to the NSC. What do you think about the scope for making improvements to the information disclosure situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I stated, we will take measures after conducting a careful examination of the content of the report.

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the Toshiba issue. Toshiba convened a meeting of the Board of Directors  today and gave advance approval to the bankruptcy filing for Westinghouse Electric Company , a nuclear power subsidiary of Toshiba. If Westinghouse does file for protection under the Bankruptcy Code , Toshiba would remove Westinghouse from its consolidated financial statements. It is still early to project how large the loss would be. What does the Government think about how Toshiba should engage in corporate reorganization?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, of course the Government is aware that Westinghouse will be filing for Chapter 11. Generally speaking, this procedure in the United States is intended for business reorganization . We hope constructive discussions take place among the businesses concerned, including Westinghouse, Toshiba, and U.S. electric power companies. The Government of Japan will continue to steadily exchange information with the U.S. Government.

REPORTER: I have a related question. You mentioned that the Government of Japan would steadily exchange information with the Government of the United States. When Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Seko recently visited the United States, I believe the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Energy of the United States commented that the financial stability of Toshiba was important. Have any concerns been expressed to the Japanese Government with regard to Westinghouse's bankruptcy filing?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Japanese and U.S. Governments are cooperating closely on this matter.

REPORTER: I would like to ask about a Japan-U.S. joint drill. It has been reported that the Japanese and U.S. Governments have begun making arrangements to hold, by the summer, a drill on protecting the vessels of the U.S. Forces by the Self-Defense Forces (SDF). What is the status of the considerations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are aware of what has been reported. Last December, the NSC approved guidelines concerning the application of Article 95-2 of the Self-Defense Forces Law, and we have begun applying it to the U.S. Forces. Due to the nature of the matter, I would like to refrain from responding about individual specific requests for escorts, the status of their implementation, and other such matters.

REPORTER: While you stated that you would like to refrain from responding due to the nature of the matter, can you tell us what the Government thinks about the need for such joint drills to protect U.S. vessels?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I stated, the NSC approved the application guidelines last December, and it has begun to be applied to the U.S. Forces.

(Abridged)

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