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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

September 13, 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]


REPORTER: I have a question with regard to the conduct of North Korea. North Korea is strongly opposed to the latest sanctions resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). What is the Government’s analysis about the likelihood of further military provocations by North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the provocative words and actions of North Korea, including this latest announcement, are clear acts of provocation against the security of the region, including Japan, and of the international community, and as such are totally unacceptable. Furthermore, the Government highly appreciates the prompt and unanimous adoption of this robust UNSC resolution on September 12, which imposes drastically stricter sanctions measures against North Korea. We will continue to work together with the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) and also cooperate with China and Russia as we call on the nations concerned to ensure the full implementation of this resolution by all UN member states. We will also be utilizing the forum of the UNSC Sanctions Committee on North Korea. By strengthening pressure on North Korea we seek to urge the country to change its policies. At the same time, under the robust Japan-U.S. Alliance, we are continuing to maintain an elevated surveillance and monitoring structure and taking all possible measures to protect the safety and security of the people of Japan with a high sense of urgency.

REPORTER: If North Korea does engage in further military provocations, is there an option to make the sanctions in the latest resolution even severer, including restrictions on the export of oil?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The resolution has just been adopted unanimously by the UNSC. It contains very strict measures. It will be important to work with UN member states to call for the full implementation of this unprecedentedly strong resolution.

REPORTER: Some press reports suggest that arrangements are being made for President Trump to visit Japan from November 4 to 6. Could you tell us about the status of the arrangements?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: When Prime Minister Abe visited the United States in February it was agreed that President Trump will visit Japan during the course of this year. However, the exact schedule is currently being coordinated, and nothing has been decided yet.

REPORTER: With tensions increasing over the situation in North Korea, what message will the Government be seeking to send to the international community on the occasion of President Trump’s visit to Japan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: That is something that will be announced once the schedule for the visit has been formally decided.

REPORTER: I have a question about departure tax. Yesterday, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ishii announced that the Government will consider the introduction of a departure tax that will be levied on people leaving Japan for overseas destinations. It was noted that a concrete proposal will be submitted this autumn, so could you tell us when the Government is aiming to introduce such a tax?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, in June this year the Investments for the Future Strategy 2017 was compiled. In this strategy it is stated that the Government will implement tourism policy measures at a high level in response to tourism demand which will grow further in the future, and in order to do so will consider ways of securing additional funding sources by sharing the burden with the beneficiaries of a growing tourism sector, taking into account the experience of other advanced tourism countries. The Japan Tourism Agency has therefore engaged in considerations on this matter to date, and yesterday Minister Ishii announced that an expert council will be established that will seek various opinions from external parties in order to further crystallize considerations. I have been informed that this council will interview members of industries concerned and will compile an interim report of its findings in autumn. With regard to the use of additional sources of funding, the Government will continue to deepen specific considerations, giving thought to the appropriate balance of benefit and burden and with a view to making a high-level response to the increasing demand for tourism.

REPORTER: You have noted that the Government will continue to consider means of securing additional funding. I understand that if this departure tax were to be introduced the funds would be channeled into the development of structures and systems to accept tourists to Japan. How would the Government use such funds to help promote and increase visitors to regional areas, where inbound travel is on the increase?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are still at the stage of engaging in considerations. As tourism is one of the pillars of the Abe administration’s policies to revitalize local economies, these considerations have a great deal of relevance.

REPORTER: It is being reported that arrangements are being made to hold a Japan-U.S.-ROK trilateral summit on September 21, coinciding with Prime Minister Abe’s attendance at the UN General Assembly this month. Could you tell us about the status of the arrangements for this meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Should circumstances permit, Prime Minister Abe will visit New York to attend the week of high-level meetings at the UN General Assembly, starting from September 19. His specific schedule while in New York, including individual meetings, has yet to be finalized.


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