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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

May 19, 2017 (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


Prior to today's Cabinet meeting, the eighth meeting of the Headquarters for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games was held. At the meeting, Minister Marukawa explained matters including a proposed Cabinet decision on reporting to the Diet on the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In addition, the Prime Minister gave instructions to continue to accelerate initiatives while thoroughly managing the progress of each measure, including in relation to transportation, as well as for the relevant parties to coordinate closely with one another on the matter of the cost allocation related to the hosting of the Games, to make these the world’s best Games.

Prior to today's Cabinet meeting, the third e-Government Ministerial Meeting, which I chair, was held. At the meeting, we first shared the results of initiatives taken thus far. For example, the integration of HR and payroll systems has produced annual cost-savings of around 2.1 billion yen. At the meeting, I instructed the relevant ministers to implement initiatives through government-wide efforts to further digitize and restructure the way we work, such as by linking information throughout the Government to provide a one-stop service using the My Number Portal that, in principle, eliminates the need for appending copies of residence certificates and family registers, and allows administrative processes to be conducted online. Furthermore, I instructed the relevant ministers that through these initiatives, they should steadily achieve the targets for producing annual cost-savings of around 110 billion yen, or an approximately  30-percent reduction, by fiscal 2021. Our discussions will be compiled at the IT Strategic Headquarters at a future date.



REPORTER: I would like to change the subject. The Government recently received a request concerning World Heritage from Governor Ogawa of Fukuoka Prefecture and others. Could you please share the details of the request and what your reply was?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We heard from the Governor, local leaders and others of their strong wish for the joint inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List of the four sites that were recently proposed for inscription but not approved, as a representation of the history and culture of the Munakata region. I explained to the delegation that we intend to continue holding in-depth talks with the members of the local community who desire a joint inscription of the aforementioned sites, based on which the Government will work as one to make the necessary preparations for the upcoming World Heritage Committee meeting in July.

REPORTER: I have a related question. The World Heritage Committee meets in July, but when, approximately, can we expect conclusions to be reached?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any case, upon thoroughly scrutinizing the content of the recent recommendation by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), and while taking into account the wishes of the local community, the Government will work as one with the local community and do whatever we can on this matter.

REPORTER: I have a related question. You said the Government will work on this matter. Does that mean you are aiming not only for the inscription of Okinoshima Island, but all the other sites as well?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: This was what was discussed with local representatives today. The Government will work as one with the local community on this matter.

REPORTER: I would like to ask about the confirmed sighting of a drone near the Senkaku Islands. Yesterday, Air Self-Defense Force F-15s were scrambled against a drone thought to have been flown from China Coast Guard vessels that intruded into Japan’s territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands. I understand that Japan has already lodged a protest with the Chinese side, but I would like to ask about the Government's reaction and response.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: This is the first case involving a flying object thought to be a drone from Chinese vessels that have intruded into Japan’s territorial waters. Such unilateral acts of escalation by the Chinese side are unacceptable, and we have lodged a strong protest with the Chinese side through diplomatic channels.

REPORTER: In relation to the previous question, based on the Government’s analysis, what is the purpose and aim of the Chinese side in flying this drone in the area?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has lodged a stern protest with the Minister of the Embassy of China in Japan. Our stern protest conveyed, firstly, that the intrusion of Chinese Government vessels into Japan’s territorial waters is completely unacceptable. The protest further conveyed that the flying of a drone from Chinese Government vessels intruding into Japan’s territorial waters is a new form of unilateral action by the Chinese side that escalates the situation and is completely unacceptable.


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