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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

October 25, 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

President Duterte of the Philippines will visit Japan from October 29 to 31. Following his first visit in October 2016, this will be President Duterte’s second visit to Japan. During President Duterte’s stay in Japan, Prime Minister Abe will hold a summit meeting with the President. The Prime Minister and the President have had three meetings to date. Based on relations of friendship and cooperation that have been developed over the course of many years, Japan and the Philippines seek to further deepen cooperation for the stability and prosperity of the region as “Strategic Partners.” The President’s visit is taking place directly ahead of the ASEAN-related summit meetings in November and the Government expects that it will be a valuable opportunity to discuss issues faced by the region and the international community.

From November 1 to 3, the World Assembly for Women: WAW! 2017 is scheduled to be held in Tokyo. WAW! is one of the efforts to achieve “A Society where Women Shine” in Japan and around the world, which continues to be one of the priority issues for the Abe administration. This international conference has been held since 2014 and brings together leading figures in many fields from around the world and all the regions of Japan. WAW! is a platform for discussing and recommending policies on how to promote the active roles of women. At the invitation of Prime Minister Abe, on November 3, Ms. Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President of the United States, is scheduled to participate in a special WAW! event, during which she will give a keynote speech on the participation of women in economic activities and entrepreneurship, and take part in other activities.


REPORTER: With regard to President Duterte’s visit, could you tell us the detailed schedule for summit meetings with the Prime Minister and also the form in which the visit will take?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The details of the President’s meetings with the Prime Minister are currently being arranged.

REPORTER: I have a question relating to UNESCO’S Memory of the World (MoW)  Programme. UNESCO’s International Advisory Committee (IAC)  has announced that it will be deliberating the inscription of the comfort women-related documents submitted by private-sector organizations in the Republic of Korea (ROK) and China on October 25 and 26. Can I ask once again about the Government’s stance on this issue and the outlook?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I am aware that on October 18, the Executive Board of UNESCO unanimously adopted a resolution that calls upon the Director-General of UNESCO and the members of the IAC, which is the implementing body for the MoW Programme, to abide by the principles of dialogue, mutual understanding and respect and to avoid further political tensions concerning  the programme. With regard to all documents relating to the MoW Programme, it is the Government’s strong hope that all persons related to UNESCO will respect this resolution and will engage in work based on the spirit of the resolution. Japan will also continue to make every effort to reform the MoW Programme to ensure that it adheres to UNESCO’s original intent and purpose of promoting friendship and mutual understanding among member countries.

REPORTER: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the ROK has announced in press conferences and through other means that it is striving to achieve the inscription of the documents. Does the Government of Japan not intend to make any stronger statements on this issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Executive Board of UNESCO has adopted a resolution concerning the review of the MoW Programme. This will continue to be discussed going forward, and as I have just noted, the Government will be strongly requesting that the Director-General of UNESCO and the IAC, which is the implementing body for the MoW Programme, will respect the spirit of the resolution and also apply it in their upcoming deliberations.

REPORTER: The Government of the ROK has announced that it is striving to achieve the inscription of the documents. Does the Government consider that this is in contravention of the Japan-ROK agreement on the comfort women issue of 2015, in which it was agreed that both countries will refrain from criticizing each other regarding this issue in the international community?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government is making every effort to strongly assert our position and realize the implementation of the agreement.


REPORTER: I have a question about North Korea. Now that the Chinese Communist Party National Congress has concluded there is a possibility that North Korea will again seek to escalate its provocative actions. What is the Government’s analysis of developments in North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government is constantly engaged with the greatest concern in the collection and analysis of information relating to the threat of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. Due to the nature of the information I would like to refrain from discussing specific details. In any event, Japan will continue to work together with the United States and the ROK to urge North Korea to refrain from provocative actions and comply with all relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. We will also continue to fully maintain an advanced surveillance and monitoring structure and make all necessary preparations for responding to any situation, in order to protect the lives and peaceful daily lives of the people of Japan.

REPORTER: I have a point of confirmation about President Duterte’s visit to Japan. Is the President scheduled to pay a state call on His Majesty the Emperor during his visit?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There are no plans for a state call on this occasion.

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