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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

October 27, 2020 (AM)

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Simultaneous interpretation services for this video are provided by a third party.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

REPORTER: […] Some media outlets are reporting that, in November last year, an aircraft of the Japan Coast Guard flying over the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands received warnings repeatedly from a Chinese (navy) vessel, which claimed that the aircraft was incurring on China’s territorial airspace. If true, this would be the first time that a Japanese aircraft has been warned about an airspace incursion from a Chinese vessel. Could you clarify the facts behind the press reports and also when and how Japan protested against the warning?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: Firstly, as has been the case to date, we refrain from making comments regarding what actually happened on the site of the incident. Having said that, whenever China makes or has made their own assertions about the Senkaku Islands, Japan makes a strong and appropriate protests.
REPORTER: As the new administration was launched, we have heard some voices asking its vision for nation-building. I did some research on this phrase and found that there were many ways to explain it. The public always cares about whether they can enjoy a safe and affluent life and what their Prime Minister will do specifically to achieve that. Until now, I don’t believe that they have had any particularly strong expectations of the Prime Minister to speak in detail about his vision for nation building, apart from the campaign platform or government targets. How does the Government perceive such a vision for nation-building as well as persisting calls or criticisms for the Prime Minister to present such matters from some media or intellectuals?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: Firstly, the phrase of “vision for nation building can, I think, refer to different things depending on who use it. Having said that, as I noted yesterday, the Prime Minister’s policy speech set out broad policy directions, including on digital transformation, realizing a green society, regional revitalization, a social security system in which people of all generations can enjoy peace of mind, and proactive diplomacy that places the Japan-U.S. alliance as its linchpin. At the same time, the Prime Minister has described “self-help, mutual help, public help,” and ‘kizuna (bonds),’ as the vision of society that he aspires for. On top of that, he has set out a vision for a society where the Government will provide protection with a safety net and expressed his intention to aim for a government that is trusted by the people. Furthermore, the Prime Minister also clearly and determinedly stated in his speech that the Government will get rid of bureaucratic sectionalism, vested interests, and the notorious habit of following past precedents and make utmost efforts to advance regulatory reforms. As “the Cabinet that works for the people,” the Government will materialize reforms and create a new era.
REPORTER: […] At today’s Cabinet decision, the Government has dismissed Mr. AKASHI Yasushi from his position as Representative of the Government of Japan for Peace-Building, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka as of October 27. As Mr. Akashi has worked for many years on the issues related to Sri Lanka as the representative of the Government, could you tell us the reason behind the timing of this dismissal?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: We will not disclose specific reasons behind each decision. However, I am well aware that this decision was made based on comprehensive considerations from various standpoints.
REPORTER: […] Today, Prime Minister Suga held telephone talks with Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations. In recent days, Secretary-General Guterres made a statement welcoming the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). As this telephone talk was held immediately after it was confirmed that the TPNW will enter into effect, was there any discussion of the TPNW during the telephone talk?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: I am aware that the Prime Minister has held a telephone talk with Secretary-General Guterres. However, I would like to refrain from making comments since I do not know about the details of the talk.

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