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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

June 7, 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 would like to ask a question related to the passage of the agreement on nuclear energy between Japan and India in the Diet. People have noted that sharing nuclear technology with a country that is not a member of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is contrary to Japan’s stance of non-proliferation. Going forward, how will the Government engage India to ensure that it does not carry out nuclear tests, and to prevent the transfer of technology for military purposes?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, India is one of Japan’s most important strategic partners. We believe our relationship with India is extremely important not only for our two countries, but also to the future of the entire Indo-Pacific region. With the conclusion of this agreement, India will take on new responsibilities under international law, such as the use of nuclear materials for peaceful purposes and non-proliferation, working together with Japan and other countries. I believe this agreement ensures that India will take responsible actions in relation to the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The conclusion of this agreement with India carries great significance as a multi-layered international initiative for ensuring India’s substantive participation in the global non-proliferation regime.

REPORTER: I have a related question. In that case, will Japan have the opportunity to clearly reaffirm with India that it will not carry out nuclear tests or transfer the technology for military purposes, for example at a summit meeting or on some other occasion?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The agreement is predicated on India maintaining its nuclear test moratorium. We have been clearly communicating this to India, including in the Japan-India Summit Meeting last November. We will continue communicating this to India as we advance cooperation under this agreement.

REPORTER: I would like to ask one further question. I believe the Abe administration considers nuclear energy exports to be one of the pillars of its growth strategy. How do you intend to support the nuclear energy exports of Japanese enterprises to India, a country that has been noted as having a shortage of power?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have said, as part of this agreement, the Government of Japan will make thorough efforts to ensure the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

REPORTER: Regarding the relocation of Futenma Air Station to Henoko, Governor Onaga of Okinawa Prefecture has announced in a press conference that he will soon file a lawsuit to stop the relocation. Until now documents have been exchanged between the Okinawa Defense Department and Okinawa regarding fishing rights, but why do you think a deepened understanding of the explanations has not been achieved at all?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government’s position is that there is absolutely no problem with relocation and we have clearly stated this in our explanations.

REPORTER: If there is absolutely no problem, does that mean you consider the Okinawan side to be in the wrong?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It is true that there is a difference in opinion between the Government and Okinawa. The Government’s position is that the Ministry of Defense is taking the appropriate steps to carry out the necessary legal procedures for conducting the relocation, upon receiving the confirmation of the Fisheries Agency, which has jurisdiction over the Fishery Law and approved the regulations on the fisheries adjustment in Okinawa Prefecture.

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject and ask about personnel matters, specifically the Bank of Japan presidency. During this morning’s deliberations of the Committee on Cabinet of the House of Representatives, you were asked about the necessary qualifications for the Bank of Japan presidency. You answered that it should be a person who understands policy issues such as overcoming deflation. President Kuroda will reach the end of his term next April, but do you believe that President Kuroda currently meets these requirements?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Since President Kuroda assumed his post, I believe he has implemented initiatives with a strong sense of determination aimed at overcoming deflation, one of the key issues for the Abe administration. For example, he has implemented an unprecedented level of quantitative and qualitative monetary easing, and the so-called negative interest rate policy last January.

REPORTER: Regarding the same personnel matter, namely the Bank of Japan presidency, you have stated that the Government intends to carry out the selection from a wide range of candidates. However, with President Kuroda reaching the end of his term on April 8, 2018, what are your current thoughts on the likelihood of him staying on as president?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: With regard to the next presidency, the current presidency will end on April 8, 2018, at which time the most appropriate person will be selected.

REPORTER: The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) announced that a website established to investigate the state of real-estate transactions was the target of a cyber-attack and that up to 200,000 cases may have been leaked. Some people have pointed out that even though the vulnerabilities of the software used to build the site were known in March, the perpetrators were able to illegally access the website because the corrective work was not yet completed. Could you please share your view on this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Regarding this incident, it was confirmed in March of this year that the system was using software confirmed to have vulnerabilities. To address that, we have been conducting corrective work this fiscal year. The recent unauthorized access was detected while the work was being carried out. MLIT is currently shutting down the concerned system, and investigating whether personal information has been leaked. A government-wide effort is being made to verify the issues related to this incident, under the supervision of the National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC). We are discussing how to strengthen system monitoring and prevent repeat incidents. The Government recognizes cybersecurity to be an extremely important matter, and will deal appropriately with this issue going forward.

REPORTER: I believe you just answered my question, but if I may confirm once more, do you have a grasp on whether other governmental web sites are using the software that was targeted this time? Could you also share the status of updates?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, the NISC carried out a survey across all governmental organizations in December of last year to determine whether any of them were using the software you have mentioned. Furthermore, an alert notice was made when the vulnerabilities in question were identified in March this year. We are taking it very seriously that these vulnerabilities were attacked in a governmental system, leading to the leakage of information. The NISC will issue another alert to all governmental organizations, and we will investigate the status of efforts to address the software vulnerabilities involved in the recent incident.

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