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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

May 15, 2017 (PM)

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Simultaneous interpretation services for this video are provided by a third party.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: I would like to ask about the recent cyberattacks. Hitachi, Ltd. has revealed that it has seen large-scale malfunctions in its email and company systems at a portion of its locations both in Japan and abroad. In the morning press conference, you stated that you have no concerns, but how do you view the domestic situation going forward?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity has received a report from Hitachi, Ltd. today that malfunctions appearing to be a virus infection have been seen in a portion of its systems that appear to be of the same nature as the recent incident. While I have received information that there are several cases of similar malfunctions, I have also received a report that the incidents are still being confirmed with the relevant parties. The National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity and related organizations of the Government are raising an alert based on the incidents that have occurred in several countries abroad, and are carrying out responses such as strengthening our intelligence gathering, and as of today we have confirmed circumstances similar to what you have just mentioned in Japan as well. However, in any case, we are gathering information related to the damage and raising an alert, and I have received a report that the incident has not yet reached a large scale, with Hitachi, Ltd. being the only concrete name given so far.


REPORTER: I would like to ask about China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation sponsored by China opened yesterday in Beijing. Over 130 countries, including Japan and the U.S., are participating in the forum. How does the Government evaluate the Belt and Road Initiative?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: From the Japan side, Mr. Toshihiro Nikai, Secretary-General, Liberal Democratic Party of Japan is attending the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. In his speech, Secretary-General Nikai stated his hope that the initiative would be driven as a high quality initiative open to all countries and meeting international standards. In that meaning, the Government will closely watch the realization of the Belt and Road Initiative, including whether it becomes an initiative which contributes to sustainable regional development.

REPORTER: I have a related question. As touched upon in Secretary-General Nikai’s speech, does this mean the Government will decide to assertively cooperate in the initiative, while monitoring and ascertaining the openness of the initiative going forward?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any case, as I just stated, I believe we must closely monitor how the initiative is realized.


REPORTER: I would like to ask about the Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) agreement regarding the comfort women issue. In an opinion survey carried out jointly by Sankei Shimbun, which is my company, and Fuji News Network, 81.9% of the respondents supported the Government’s position to not agree to a renegotiation of the agreement. How do you perceive these results?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any event, I believe it is extremely important that both Japan and the ROK responsibly implement the agreement from the end of 2015, which is highly evaluated by the international community. In the recent telephone conversation between the leaders of Japan and the ROK, Prime Minister Abe stated that he would like to appropriately manage the relationship between our two countries, including the Japan-ROK agreement.

REPORTER: Do you have any thoughts on the fact that the support exceeded eighty percent?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Above and beyond the fact that respondent support exceeded 80%, as this is an international agreement, I believe it is extremely important that both sides fulfill it responsibly.


REPORTER: While knowledge of the J-ALERT system’s existence is spreading among the people, some doubts could be seen when a J-ALERT was not issued with North Korea’s missile launch yesterday. While I do not know the proportion, I believe that the number of people who believe that a J-ALERT is issued whenever North Korea launches a missile, is not a small number. I understand that raising a J-ALERT is a decision made by the Cabinet Secretariat, and while nothing can be one hundred percent certain, do you consider every decision to be correct? Furthermore, will the criteria for raising a J-ALERT and its operation continue in its current form?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, in the event that the Government determines a ballistic missile has the possibility of flying into Japan, it will rapidly disseminate information to the people and related organizations through the Em-Net (Emergency Information Network) and J-ALERT systems. In yesterday’s incident, the missile launched was determined to have no possibility of flying into Japan, and therefore J-ALERT and Em-Net were not utilized. Regarding the evaluation criteria for the decision to utilize J-ALERT and other systems, I would like to refrain from making a comment based on the nature of the matter. However, the Government is taking a fully prepared stance to protect the lives of our citizens and their assets in any situation. At the same time, in the event there is danger or the possibility of danger to our citizens, we will rapidly disseminate information.

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