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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

April 23, 2018 (PM)

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 related to the recent Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting. In response to the agreement to launch new talks between the two countries, President Trump has strongly emphasized his desire to eliminate the United States’ trade deficit with Japan. Can I ask what position Japan will be taking in this?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In the talks for free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals, which was agreed at the summit meeting, it is expected that discussions are to be held on specific measures to further expand trade and investment between Japan and the U.S. and realize economic development in a free and open Indo-Pacific region based on fair rules so as to benefit both countries. In the course of these talks, Japan will continue to request the U.S. to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement.
REPORTER: I have a question about how the talks will be prepared. When are the talks supposed to hold the inaugural meeting, following the agreement at the summit meeting? Mid-term elections are due to be held in the United States in the autumn. Do you think that it will be necessary to agree with the United States on a schedule for the talks prior to these elections?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Arrangements will be made concerning the date for the first meeting in due course. I am aware that mid-term elections are due to be held in the autumn. In any event, the Government will prepare for the talks with a view to reaching an agreement that is in line with our national interests.
REPORTER: I have a question regarding the wooden vessel from North Korea. Some press reports suggested that the captain of the vessel, who was found guilty of stealing a generator and other equipment from an uninhabited island in Matsumae Town, Hokkaido, together with a male crew member who has been receiving treatment for tuberculosis, are due to be deported soon. Could you tell us the facts behind these reports?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the captain and crew member you mentioned are currently being held in a detention center under the jurisdiction of the Immigration Bureau. I would like to refrain from referring to the details of the procedures afterwards, as it could hinder the security procedures.  In any event, the Immigration Bureau will respond appropriately in accordance with relevant legislation.
REPORTER: If these two people are deported, it will mean that all ten people who were involved in the theft case will have been sent back to North Korea. Will Japan bear the costs of transfer and transportation, as well as the accommodation and medical expenses that have been incurred over the course of approximately five months?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Arrangements are being made through the embassy channel in Beijing to ensure that payment for repatriation is made in an appropriate form. That means Japan does not have to incur any expenses. We are currently communicating with the relevant authorities in North Korea. Due to the nature of the matter, I would like to refrain from discussing any further details.

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