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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

May 31, 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 Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga and State Councilor Yang Jiechi held talks a short while ago. Can you tell us what they discussed?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HAGIUDA: I have been informed that State Councilor Yang Jiechi paid a courtesy call on Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga from 9:30 AM today, for approximately 35 minutes. I understand that a forward-looking exchange of views took place focusing on Japan-China relations. I have not been briefed on any details beyond that.


REPORTER: It has been reported that Secretary-General Nikai of the Liberal Democratic Party will be dispatched to the Republic of Korea as a special envoy of the Prime Minister in June. What is the current status of the arrangements?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HAGIUDA: Nothing has been decided at this point in time.

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject. I have a question concerning Kake Educational Institution. Former (Administrative) Vice Minister Maekawa of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) released a comment yesterday. He stated there was no mistake that he was asked to come to the Prime Minister’s Office last autumn by Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Izumi, and that he was asking Mr. Maekawa for MEXT to speed up the procedures for establishing a veterinary school on behalf of the Prime Minister, since he cannot ask this directly. Does the Government intend to look into the facts of this case? Has Special Advisor Izumi reported anything to date?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HAGIUDA: As it so happens that there is a meeting of the Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of the House of Representatives this afternoon, we checked with Special Advisor Izumi regarding this matter. I understand Special Advisor Izumi responded that his comments could not be verified since no record was kept of his meeting with former Vice Minister Maekawa. It has been reported that Special Advisor Izumi was making the request on behalf of the Prime Minister since he cannot make it directly. However, Special Advisor Izumi stated that he does not recollect making such a comment, nor has he received any instructions from the Prime Minister in connection with this case.


REPORTER: United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur David Kaye released a report on his mission to Japan. The report makes references to the Law on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets and the Broadcast Law, and notes on their impacts on the freedom of expression and opinion. Can you please share your comments on these aspects? In addition, can you tell us what responses the Government is taking if any?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HAGIUDA: I am aware that the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression on his mission to Japan, along with the Government of Japan’s explanations and response to the report, were made available on the website of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. We are currently studying how the claims and response of the Government were reflected in the report that has just been released. All I can say for now is that the Government has seized various opportunities to repeatedly provide careful explanations to the Special Rapporteur regarding the Government’s position on the issues mentioned in the report by the Special Rapporteur, such as media independence, interference in history teaching and reporting, the Law on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets, and protest in Okinawa. It is extremely regrettable that a report that does not fully reflect the position of the Government was released, despite our efforts to provide careful explanations. The Government will continue to hold dialogues with the Special Rapporteur to ensure a correct understanding of the situation of Japan. Furthermore, we will offer thorough explanations at the forum of the Human Rights Council.

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