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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 6, 2018 (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: On February 5, the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the United States suffered a major sell-off, closing 1,175 dollars down on the previous day of trading. Some market watchers have noted that this could mark a period of adjustment for U.S. stock markets, which have been rising over the course of almost nine years. Could I ask for a comment from the Government about this situation?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the New York Dow Jones Industrial Average closed yesterday at 24,345.75 dollars. I am aware that the Nikkei Stock Average has also dropped this morning. Stock prices are determined by the markets based on various factors. As is usually the case, I would like to refrain from commenting on each fluctuation in stock prices. The Government’s recognition, however, remains unchanged that the global economy, including the U.S. economy, is improving. In any event, we will continue to closely monitor developments in the Japanese and global economy, including developments in the financial markets.
REPORTER: I have a related question. You have just mentioned the Japanese stock market, and it is the case that the Nikkei Stock Average fell by more than 1,000 yen at one point this morning. Some are also concerned that the situation could lead to an appreciation in the yen. What impact do you think that these changes will have on the Japanese economy?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from commenting on matters relating to exchange rates. What I would say is that the Government recognizes exchange rate stability to be of the utmost importance. We will continue to closely and carefully monitor the developments in exchange markets.
REPORTER: I have a question about cryptocurrencies. It has been revealed that the National Intelligence Service (NIS) of the Republic of Korea (ROK) issued a report to the National Assembly of the ROK, stating that North Korea stole several hundred million dollars in cryptocurrency from the ROK through cyberattacks. The NIS is also apparently investigating whether North Korea was involved in the incident in Japan where approximately 58 billion yen of cryptocurrency was stolen. Could you share with us any information that the Government has on this matter?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government is greatly concerned about cyberattacks by North Korea, and is constantly collecting and analyzing relevant information. Due to the nature of such information, I would like to refrain from commenting on its content and the details of analyses. In any event, the Government recognizes that responding to cyberattacks is an important challenge from the perspectives of national security, crisis management, and the growth of the Japanese economy. We will continue to work with the international community in dealing with this issue with a sense of urgency.
REPORTER: You have just mentioned that the Government is cooperating with the international community on this matter. Does this include requesting the Government of the ROK to provide information?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are responding thoroughly and in cooperation with various countries.
REPORTER: I have a related question. It has been previously noted that cryptocurrencies are being used for the funding of terrorism, money laundering and other means. There have been some moves to strengthen regulation of cryptocurrencies within the private sector, including the banning of advertisements by Facebook. What is the view of the Government on this point, and at the current stage are you considering any moves to strengthen regulation of cryptocurrencies?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: One example I can cite is that the Financial Services Agency implemented an on-site investigation of the offices of Coincheck on February 2. The relevant ministries and agencies are working together to assess and investigate the situation, and are considering what kind of response is required.

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