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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

December 8, 2017 (PM)

 
If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
This video's audio is a provisional translation through live simultaneous interpretation.

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 extraordinary Cabinet meeting.)

Q&As

REPORTER: I have a question on Israel. Various countries have issued statements in succession criticizing the United States over President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Are we to understand that, as the Government of Japan, Prime Minister Abe will not be issuing any kind of statement or making a comment?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government’s position on this issue is as I have stated in previous press conferences. Foreign Minister Kono has also responded to press questions in an ad-hoc press conference on the same topic. I would like to refrain from conjecturing any future Government response in relation to this issue.

REPORTER: I believe that the Government of Japan has as yet not expressed any criticism as other countries have done. Is the Government’s response out of consideration for President Trump and its ally the United States?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, from the perspective of realizing stability in the Middle East region, the Government of Japan fully seeks to maintain even closer communication with the United States and other countries concerned. The Government supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Our position is that it should be resolved through negotiation between the parties, based on relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions adopted to date and the agreements previously reached by the parties, including on the issue of the final status of Jerusalem.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. There are reports that President Trump is considering to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Is the possibility zero that the Government of Japan will follow the United States in moving its own embassy from Tel Aviv?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government has no such intention.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question that the viewers of Nico Nico Douga (video) wanted me to ask you. Congratulations on your birthday, which was two days ago. Many people the same age as you, such as Ms. Harumi Miyako and Mr. Hiroshi Itsuki, or politicians such as Mr. Takashi Kawamura, are still active in society. I believe you turned 69, so this will be the last year of your 60s. Could you share with us how you plan to spend the coming year?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: When I think of the people you have just mentioned, I realize again that I am getting up there. In any event, as Chief Cabinet Secretary I will continue to work hard with the basic intention of fully and sincerely accepting my responsibilities and supporting the Prime Minister in taking our nation forward.

REPORTER: I have a question about the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games that are scheduled to take place in the Republic of Korea (ROK) in February next year. Given the very unsettled situation on the Korean Peninsula, if a larger than usual number of Japanese nationals were to visit the ROK for the Games, how would the Government rescue them in the event of a contingency? Some view that it would be very difficult to dispatch the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) of Japan to engage in rescue activities in the ROK. Although there are moves to create a coalition among nations as a means of weakening antipathy towards the SDF, the possibility cannot be denied that the ROK may deny the entry of the SDF into the ROK. Is the Government engaging in negotiations with the Government of the ROK on such matters?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Appropriate implementation of activities to evacuate Japanese nationals in emergency situations is the greatest duty of the Government. It is true that the Government is always consulting with the United States on response measures with such a situation in mind. Naturally we are also working closely with the ROK as a country concerned. However, due to the nature of the matter I would like to refrain from making any further comment regarding our discussions with them.
 

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