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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

October 6, 2020 (PM)

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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: I have a question about Typhoon No. 14 (Chan-hom). The typhoon was formed and is forecast to approach Japan. Could you tell us about the status of emergency preparedness by the Government, including for early water discharges from dams?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: Typhoon No. 14 is currently located south of Japan, heading on a north-north-westerly course. There is a possibility that the typhoon will approach the Nansei Islands with a high intensity from around October 8 to 9. Afterwards, it is forecast that it could approach, with strong winds, western Japan from October 9 to 10 and eastern Japan from October 11 or later. The Government intends to ensure emergency preparedness, including the early discharge of water at dams if necessary, following the path of the typhoon. We ask the public to take any necessary actions, closely watching weather information, including the latest typhoon updates.
REPORTER: I have a question about the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). At a special session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board, Dr. Michael Ryan, the Executive Director for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, stated that, according to the latest estimates, approximately 10 percent of the global population, or one in 10 people, may have been infected by the virus. This number is 22 times larger than the latest statistics of 35 million confirmed cases as of October 5, reported by WHO or Johns Hopkins University. While Dr. Ryan also noted that such estimations may vary from country to country, I believe it is critical information as Japan is preparing for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games next year. Regarding this latest estimation, has Japan shared its own estimation with WHO? If not, does the Government intend to hold a hearing or pursue other opportunities with WHO?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: Although the Government is aware of the press reports about the statement made by Dr. Ryan of WHO, we do not have specifics on the points you mentioned such as breakdowns of the estimation and the estimation methods used. In any case, we intend to closely monitor such information as well as epidemiological situations overseas, and thoroughly implement measures to prevent the spread of infections, also collaborating with WHO.
REPORTER: I have a question about Japan-U.S. diplomacy. Today, Prime Minister Suga received a courtesy call from Mr. Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State. As this is the Prime Minister’s first face-to-face diplomatic meeting since his appointment, can you tell us about its significance?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: As you noted, today, Prime Minister Suga received a courtesy call from Mr. Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State, which was his first face-to-face meeting with a foreign official since becoming Prime Minister. In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister welcomed Secretary Pompeo’s visit to Japan and expressed his pleasure to be able to meet him once again for the first time since May last year. He also extended his wishes for the early and full recovery of President Trump and the First Lady. In response, Secretary Pompeo congratulated Prime Minister Suga on his appointment and expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to make the courtesy call and for the kind words from the Prime Minister. Secretary Pompeo also stated that the United States fully supports the holding of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games next year. In addition, it was also confirmed that based on the shared recognition of the increasingly difficult regional situation, the U.S.-Japan Alliance, which is the cornerstone for peace and stability in the region and the international community, will be further strengthened, and Japan and the United States will continue to work closely with like-minded countries, including the recent quadrilateral ministerial meeting. Prime Minister Suga and Secretary Pompeo also held an exchange of views on the situation in North Korea, including the abductions issue. Prime Minister Suga requested the full support of the United States towards the early resolution of the abductions issue, to which Secretary Pompeo responded that the United States will continue to fully support Japan in its efforts in this regard. Prime Minister Suga has already held a number of telephone talks to date, including with President Trump, but it is also important to hold direct face-to-face meetings, such as this one today.

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