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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

November 2, 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 about the issue of the Northern Territories. As the Prime Minister himself has stated, with the inauguration of the new Cabinet, the continuation of Japan’s diplomatic policy has now been assured. Can you tell us, therefore, about the stance the administration will take toward the early resolution of the Northern Territories issue and what policies the new Cabinet will engage in toward the conclusion of a peace treaty with Russia?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, at the time of the Japan-Russia summit meeting in December last year, the two leaders expressed their sincere determination to resolve the peace treaty issue . The leaders also agreed to launch negotiations toward the realization of joint economic activities on the Four Northern Islands in a manner that does not harm the legal positions of either side . On the basis of this agreement, the Government considers that Japan and Russia can resolve the issue of the Northern Territories and conclude a peace treaty by creating a future vision for the Four Northern Islands with a forward-looking approach of finding a mutually acceptable solution. In the Japan-Russia summit meeting in September, the leaders confirmed that special grave visits by airplane would take place. Also, in October a second public and private research team on joint economic activities was dispatched to the Four Northern Islands. The Government will continue to advance negotiations with Russia on the basis of seeking to resolve the attribution of the Four Northern Islands and conclude a peace treaty.

REPORTER: I have a question about North Korea. It has been noted that if there is a further nuclear test at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in northeastern North Korea there is a danger that the ground may collapse, resulting in the release of radioactive materials. There is already information to suggest that there has been a partial collapse, so could you tell us the Government’s awareness of the current situation and what response measures are being considered, including plans for evacuation of Japanese nationals from the Republic of Korea (ROK) and any anticipated impact on Japan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of the press reports on that matter. The Government continues to implement monitoring for radiation at monitoring posts nationwide, but no abnormal changes have been detected at the current point. In any event, we will continue to carefully examine all results of monitoring tests.


REPORTER: I have a question about the visit to Japan of President Trump of the United States. When a U.S. President visits Japan, it is usually the case that the President travels in a large motorcade that necessitates the implementation of traffic restrictions. On this occasion the President’s visit coincides partially with a three-day holiday weekend in Japan, so could you tell us the degree to which traffic restrictions are likely to be implemented and what impact is expected from these restrictions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: President Trump is scheduled to visit Japan from November 5 to 7. It is expected that temporary traffic restrictions will be implemented in parts of Tokyo as well as Saitama Prefecture. As traffic congestion is anticipated in the areas where restrictions are planned, the Metropolitan Police Department and Saitama Prefectural Police are implementing publicity campaigns asking people to refrain from driving on the Metropolitan Expressway and driving into the city center of Tokyo, and instead to use public transportation, including trains and subways. Although the traffic restrictions that will be implemented for the President’s visit will be kept to the necessary minimum and will only be for a limited time, they will unfortunately affect residents of Tokyo and Saitama during the holiday weekend. We ask for the understanding and cooperation of the public.


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