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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

May 30, 2017 (PM)

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]


REPORTER: I have a question regarding the abdication of His Majesty the Emperor. A draft supplementary resolution related to the special measures bill for realizing the abdication of the Emperor is being discussed by the ruling and opposition parties. Some media outlets have reported that based on this supplementary resolution, the Government is going to consider establishing a new organization for discussing the stable succession of the Imperial throne, as well as measures for coping with the decreasing number of Imperial Family members. Is this true?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the Government is by no means considering the establishment of a new organization.

REPORTER: I have a related question. In regard to government organizations in charge of the Imperial Household system, there is already the Imperial House Law Revision Office within the Cabinet Secretariat. Will the Government’s review of this matter continue to take place at this office?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: That is where the discussions are now ongoing. Nothing has been decided yet as to what will happen.

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject. It is about Special Rapporteur Cannataci of the United Nations (UN). Yesterday, the Prime Minister criticized the Special Rapporteur’s words and conduct, stating that they are extremely unbalanced and hardly that of an objective expert. I recall that the Government conferred a decoration to a different UN Special Rapporteur who conducted a human rights inquiry in North Korea for the UN this spring. On this basis some members of the opposition parties are noting that the Government treats special rapporteurs differently to suit their convenience and places a double standard on them. Can you please share your opinions in this regard?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe the decoration recipients are selected among those foreign nationals who made a contribution to Japan. In that sense, I do not think a double standard is being applied whatsoever.

REPORTER: I have a related question. During today’s meeting of the Committee on Judicial Affairs of the House of Councillors, the Prime Minister responded that the explanation about a Special Rapporteur being an individual expert independent from the UN was not made in a critical context. If so, what kind of importance does the Government give to the inquiries made by the UN Special Rapporteur? How does the Government intend to work with a Special Rapporteur?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, UN Secretary-General Guterres has explained to the Prime Minister that a UN Special Rapporteur is an individual expert independent from the UN, and as one of their duties, he/she makes an inquiry into the human rights situation of countries and report the findings to the Human Rights Council. UN Secretary-General Guterres has stated to the Prime Minister that the assertions of the Special Rapporteur do not necessarily reflect the consensus view of the UN. In this sense, the Government will cooperate with special rapporteurs to realize meaningful and constructive dialogue, and to ensure that their reports are based on objective and accurate information as well as on correct understanding.


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