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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 23, 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]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga
(There were statements on the overview of the Cabinet meeting and on the ministerial discussions following the Cabinet meeting.)
REPORTER: President Trump dismissed National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster and appointed former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton as his successor. Could you share your thoughts on this matter?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from making comments on the personnel affairs of the government of another country. In any event, Japan and the United States have maintained close communications at various levels of government, from the summit level between Prime Minister Abe and President Trump to the working levels. We do not foresee that this would have any adverse impact in particular.
REPORTER: In addition to the nomination of Mr. Mike Pompeo as the next U.S. Secretary of State, the appointment of Mr. Bolton as National Security Advisor means that hardliners on North Korea again occupy key positions in the U.S. administration. How do you think it will affect the policies towards North Korea?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from making comments on behalf of the Government. I would say that the Government will work closely with senior U.S. Government officials, including those newly appointed.
REPORTER: I have a question about U.S. trade policy. The United States is set to impose restrictions on its imports of steel and aluminum this afternoon. Japan is subject to these measures, so can I ask how the Government intends to respond?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Government has repeatedly pointed out to the United States that, as an allied country, imports of steel and aluminum from Japan will not impair U.S. national security and has requested that Japan be exempted from the additional tariffs. If Japan is to become subject to these measures it would be extremely regrettable. Trade Representative Lighthizer stated to Congress that he expected discussions on country-specific exemptions to be concluded by the end of April. If it is the case that as of March 23, U.S. time, Japan has not been exempted from these measures, the Government will continue to call persistently on the U.S. to be exempted from these measures.
REPORTER: You have just stated that Japan will continue to request that it be exempted from the import restriction measures. Are we to understand that the Government is not considering any retaliatory measures?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We will continue to engage with the United States in the manner I have just described.
REPORTER: President Trump made public his intention to impose tariffs on Chinese-made products equivalent to approximately 5 trillion yen, citing infringement of intellectual property (IP) rights by China. China has strongly opposed such measures and there are concerns that this may spark a trade war. What is the Government’s view on this situation?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, Japan shares the same recognition as the United States about the importance of strengthening IP rights protection and effective legal enforcement. We have engaged in various collaborative efforts with the U.S. in this area to date. The measures taken by China that could lead to infringements of IP rights are also a serious concern for Japan. Meanwhile, as a nation that respects the rules-based multilateral trading system, the Government hopes that the measures announced by the United States would be implemented in accordance with WTO agreements. We will continue to monitor how the situation develops between the United States and China.

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