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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

October 24, 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
(There was a statement on the overview of the Cabinet meeting.)

In today’s Cabinet meeting, the Cabinet approved plans to invite President Donald Trump of the United States of America and Mrs. Melania Trump to pay an official visit to Japan from November 5 to November 7, 2017. During their stay in Japan, the President and Mrs. Trump will make a state call on their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan. President Trump will hold a summit meeting with Prime Minister Abe. The President and the Prime Minister are also scheduled to meet with family members of those abducted by North Korea. President Trump’s visit will be an ideal opportunity for the two leaders to discuss the challenges faced by the international community and demonstrate to the world the strong bonds of the Japan-U.S. Alliance at a time when the security environment in the region, including North Korea, is becoming increasingly severe. The Government of Japan sincerely welcomes the visit of the President and Mrs. Trump.



REPORTER: Could you tell us about any details of the itinerary for the President’s visit that have been decided at this point, including for example the Japan-U.S. summit meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, although a summit meeting is scheduled to take place, the agenda for the meeting is still under discussion. I would certainly expect that issues such as  Japan-U.S. relations and the regional situation, including North Korea, will be discussed. In addition, during their visit, President and Mrs. Trump are scheduled to make a state call on Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress and meet with families of the abduction victims. President Trump and Prime Minister Abe are also scheduled to play a round of golf with the professional golfer Mr. Hideki Matsuyama in the afternoon on November 5. All other events and itinerary details are still being arranged.

REPORTER: With regard to a round of golf with Mr. Matsuyama, has the venue been decided?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It is still being arranged.

REPORTER: With regard to the meeting between the President and families of the abduction victims, are we to understand that this meeting is with the parents of Ms. Megumi Yokota?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: That is also currently in the process of being finalized.

REPORTER: Now that the election for the House of Representatives is over, can I ask again how the Cabinet intends to approach various issues, including the response to North Korea, and the realization of social security for people across all generations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, in the recent election campaign we emphasized the results that the Abe administration has achieved during the course of the four years and ten months the Government has been in power, and we also set forth specific policies that are designed to address major challenges facing Japanese society, including provocations by North Korea, and the issues of a declining birth rate and aging society. As a result, we attained a stable majority and, I believe, this demonstrates that we have the understanding and trust of the people of Japan. We recognize this result with due sincerity and  modesty. Responding to the trust placed in us by so many people, and seeking to also respond to the various opinions we heard from the public during the election campaign, we will maintain our policy-oriented approach and spirit of reform and move to implement each and every one of the pledges we made to the people, thereby taking Japan forward as a nation. In specific terms, we are firmly determined to thoroughly implement crisis management and response measures to protect the lives and peaceful livelihoods of the people of Japan and continue to engage in cooperation with the international community in responding to North Korea. In addition, prioritizing economic policies, we will work to ensure employment opportunities for the people, accelerate the positive economic cycle, and boldly take up the challenge of implementing various necessary reforms to ensure that the fruits of growth can be enjoyed by all people. We will also work to advance economic revitalization of local areas. In order to overcome the urgent challenges presented by the declining birthrate and aging society, we will transition to a social security system designed for people across all generations and make bold investments for the future of the children of Japan.

REPORTER: I would like to return to the topic of President Trump’s visit to Japan. Given the rising tensions in the situation with North Korea, some people have criticized the arranging of a game of golf during the limited time that the President and the Prime Minister have together in Japan, and suggested that there are issues with the Government’s crisis management. What is your view on this point?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We of course recognize the seriousness of the security situation and will continue to engage thoroughly in crisis management. However, it is also equally important to  cultivate friendship.

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