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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

April 2, 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]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga
Based on a comprehensive consideration, taking into account the various international meetings and large-scale events that are scheduled to be held in Japan and overseas, it has been decided that the 2019 G20 Osaka Summit is to be convened on June 28 and 29. In addition, regarding the ministerial meetings that Japan is to host during its presidency of the G20 and their respective locations, it has been decided as follows, based on comprehensive considerations among the candidates, each of which have their own outstanding unique characteristics, taking into account the perspective of regional revitalization. The Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting will be held in Fukuoka City; the Labour and Employment Ministers Meeting will be held in Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture; the Tourism Ministers Meeting will be held in Kutchan Town, Hokkaido; the Agriculture Ministers Meeting will be held in Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture; the Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy will be held in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture; the Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth will be held in Karuizawa Town, Nagano Prefecture; the Health Ministers Meeting will be held in Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture; and the Foreign Ministers Meeting will be held in Aichi Prefecture. The specific dates for these meetings will be announced at an appropriate time by the relevant ministries and agencies after the necessary arrangements have been completed.
REPORTER: With regard to the name of the ministerial meeting that will be held in Karuizawa Town, until now similar meetings have been referred to as the Energy Ministers Meeting or the Environment and Energy Ministers Meeting. Could you tell us why the name of the meeting has been changed and what the Government hopes to achieve by it?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The meeting in Karuizawa will be one in which relevant ministers discuss energy transitions and the global environment towards global sustainable growth. It was named as such in order to appropriately describe the purposes of the meeting. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of the Environment are to work together to organize the meeting.
REPORTER: It appears that the venues of the respective ministerial meetings are evenly spread across the country. However, I believe the Tohoku region is the only region that is not supposed to host any meeting. Is there a reason why Tohoku was not chosen this time?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have just noted, the number of the ministerial meetings is fixed. The decision over each venue was made based on our considerations over various and unique features of the designated candidates.
REPORTER: Are we to understand that almost all the venues that have been selected from among local governments which had submitted their candidacy to host a meeting?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: That is basically the case.
REPORTER: I believe that, in addition to Kutchan in Hokkaido, a number of local governments were also bidding to host the Tourism Ministers Meeting. Could you tell us why the town was selected?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are aware that many areas submitted their candidacy to host the Tourism Ministers Meeting. Among these areas, Kutchan in Hokkaido is getting very enthusiastic about promoting tourism for the entirety of Hokkaido and it is also home to a major international ski resort that attracts many tourists from overseas. Taking into consideration various factors such as these, a decision was made to choose Kutchan for this meeting.
REPORTER: Among the venues of the designated meetings, in the case of Aichi Prefecture, the last one you introduced, you only referred to the prefecture itself. Has the town or city not yet been decided?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There has been a request to host the Foreign Ministers Meeting in Aichi Prefecture in a new facility close to the airport. I think that it should be part of Nagoya City. Our staff will be clarifying it formally.
REPORTER: You mentioned that the decisions were made based on the perspective of regional revitalization. Could you explain a little more about it?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government gave comprehensive considerations to local governments which submitted their candidacies, based on the perspectives of regional revitalization and regional distribution, after taking into account various aspects such as facility, accommodation and security.
REPORTER: It is anticipated that huge numbers of officials of participating countries and organizations are to visit Japan for this series of the meetings. In this regard, what are your expectations regional revitalization?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government hopes that these local governments will use the opportunities to host such international conferences to showcase their unique features and charms.
REPORTER: The Prime Minister announced the schedule of his forthcoming visit to the United States at the Liaison Meeting of the Government and Ruling Parties today. The visit is due to take place from April 17 to 20, and two days have been secured for a summit meeting, meaning that there should be sufficient time for communicating with each other. Given that, could you tell us once again what outcomes the Government expects from the meeting?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, various circumstances permitting, Prime Minister Abe is scheduled to visit Mar-a-Lago in Florida, where he will hold a Japan-U.S. summit meeting with President Trump, engaging in extensive discussions over the course of two days. While I would like to refrain from making comments based on conjecture at the current time about the focus and outcomes of the meeting, it is expected that the two leaders will engage in candid discussions about matters of mutual concern, including the policies towards North Korea.
REPORTER: I have a question regarding China’s out-of-control space station Tiangong-I. According to a briefing provided by the Chinese authorities, the space station mostly burned up on reentry to the Earth’s atmosphere. Could you tell us whether there is some possibility that residual burnt debris fell on Japanese territory?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I have received a report that it reentered the atmosphere over the South Pacific at around 9:16 a.m. (Japan time) today. The Government has established an information liaison office in the Prime Minister’s Office and relevant ministries and agencies are currently gathering and analyzing information. At the current point there is no report of such damage in Japan.
REPORTER: It is being reported that the Japan-U.S. Governors’ Meeting, which has not been held for more than 20 years, is expected to be held in Japan as early as this summer. Could you tell us the facts behind the report? If this is true, could you also tell us the purpose of resuming this meeting, or if not, whether the Government considers such a meeting to be necessary?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government is aware that the National Governors’ Association is coordinating with relevant parties towards the convening of a Japan-U.S. Governors’ Meeting this summer. The Government has consistently worked to expand exchanges and cooperation between Japan and each of the regions of the United States. Therefore, we would like to provide as much support as possible to such initiatives that aim to further strengthen friendly relations between Japan and the United States at various levels.
I would like to correct what I said earlier regarding a G20 meeting to be held in Aichi Prefecture. The venue will be outside Nagoya and the host city has yet to be determined.

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