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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

November 14, 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.)


REPORTER: There are press reports suggesting that the Government has started making arrangements for Prime Minister Abe to visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE) early in 2018 in order to advance negotiations concerning oil concessions on offshore oilfields. What are the facts behind these reports?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Nothing has been decided with regard to an overseas visit by the Prime Minister.

REPORTER: The reports are based on comments made by Mr. Kosaburo Nishime, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry. He attended an oil and natural gas-related exhibition, and stated that the Government has started making arrangements for a visit to the UAE by the Prime Minister early in 2018.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I hear that is not necessarily the case.

REPORTER: Are you saying that this was not the State Minister’s explanation?


REPORTER: Prime Minister Abe met yesterday with Premier Li Keqiang of China. What is the Government’s evaluation of the outcomes of the meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Prime Minister’s summit meeting with President Xi Jinping was highly fruitful. The Government considers that the meeting with Premier Li Keqiang held shortly after the summit meeting with President Xi was extremely significant in that a series of dialogues at the leaders’ level would further strengthen efforts to improve Japan-China relations. In the meeting with Premier Li, the two leaders confirmed that under the “Mutually Beneficial Relationship Based on Common Strategic Interests,” and while looking ahead to the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China next year, Japan and China will make proactive efforts to advance cooperation in all areas, by enhancing economic relations and promoting people-to-people exchanges. Furthermore, the two sides also confirmed that the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is a shared goal and that Japan and China will further strengthen cooperation towards achieving it. Based on the beneficial dialogue that has taken place at the leaders’ level the Government will continue to work towards the improvement of all aspects of Japan-China relations by expanding and strengthening the positive aspects while dealing appropriately with matters of concern.

REPORTER: On his recent overseas visit the Prime Minister met with both President Xi and Premier Li. How is the Government looking to link the outcomes of these meetings towards the realization of mutual visits between the leaders of Japan and China?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In the meetings, both sides exchanged views on various subjects, including the matter you mentioned. We will continue to make efforts at the working level towards the realization of such visits.

REPORTER: Yesterday Foreign Minister Kono stated that Japan is seeking to hold a trilateral Japan-China-Republic of Korea (ROK) summit meeting in December or January. Is it the Government’s view that it would currently be difficult to realize a trilateral meeting before the end of the year?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In the meeting with Premier Li yesterday the two sides agreed to work towards holding a trilateral meeting in the near future. However, as all sides have various commitments and schedules, we are making arrangements to find a date that is amenable to all parties. The leaders have confirmed that a meeting will take place at an early timing, so now all that is left to do is to arrange the date for such a meeting.


REPORTER: I have a question about high school student peace ambassadors. Every year in August since 2014 a Japanese high school student has given a speech to the UN Conference on Disarmament held in Geneva, calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons. However, this year the speech was cancelled. A freedom of information request by the Nishinippon Shimbun has revealed that a number of UN member countries pressurized Japan into the cancellation of the speech, noting that members could request the high school student to leave the floor. It is also evident from the information that was released that the Government strongly opposed the cancellation of the speech, so what is the Government’s view concerning the fact that it ultimately did not take place?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I have received a report that the Minister for Foreign Affairs has responded to similar questions on this issue several times in his own press conferences. I have also received a report that although the speech was not made on this occasion, the meeting was beneficial for the dispatched high school students in that they were able to engage in direct exchanges of opinions with representatives from other countries, which provided a mutual learning and understanding opportunity.

REPORTER: How will the Government respond to this matter from next year onwards?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would imagine that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will engage in considerations about next year’s meeting and thereafter.


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