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Last Update : Friday, Oct 14, 2016

JapanGov Weekly

Cabinet Secretariat [Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016]

Meeting with the King of the Belgians and Other Events

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a meeting with His Majesty King Philippe, King of the Belgians, and then hosted a banquet, at Akasaka Palace State Guest House.

In his address at the banquet, the Prime Minister said,

“Good evening. My name is Shinzo Abe.

I would like to extend my heartfelt welcome to Your Majesties King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, who are visiting Japan as state guests. I am delighted that we are able to welcome your Majesties to Japan in this year that commemorates the important milestone of the 150th anniversary of our diplomatic relations.

The foundation of the friendly relations between Japan and Belgium is the longstanding close relationship between the Belgian royal family and the Japanese imperial family. I am truly delighted that there have been numerous visits to Belgium by members of Japan’s imperial family, including the visit by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan in 1993, while members of the royal family of Belgium have also made frequent visits to Japan.

For many Japanese people, when they think of Belgium, the first thing that comes to mind is your rich food culture. I myself am a fan of Belgian chocolates, waffles, and mussels, while my wife is a great fan of Belgian beer. In regard to commitment to good food, Japan is Belgium’s equal. This evening I would like Your Majesties to experience anew the wonders of genuine Japanese cuisine.

When I visited Belgium in May, I presented Prime Minister Michel with some Japanese sake. I hope that by now the Prime Minster has shifted his allegiance from Belgian beer to Japanese sake.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of our friendship, many events have been held in both Japan and Belgium. Today, for example, Tokyo Sky Tree, the tallest building in Japan, is being illuminated in the colors of the Belgian flag, to mark the occasion of Your Majesties’ visit.

I hope that everyone who looks up at the night sky in Tokyo this evening will think of Belgium. I am sure that sales of Belgian beer will double this evening.

Today’s banquet is graced by the presence of many leaders who are active in a wide range of fields, including politics, the economy, academia, and culture. It is thanks to all of you that the present relationship between Japan and Belgium exists. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you all and also to request your continued efforts to ensure that our relations develop further.

I would like to raise a toast with the wish that this visit by Your Majesties will add a new chapter to the 150-year history of our bilateral exchange. I would like to express my heartfelt wishes for your continued health and success, and for an even closer friendship between Japan and Belgium.”

Cabinet Secretariat [Friday, Oct 7, 2016]

Meeting amongst Main Ministers on the TPP

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the 16th Meeting amongst Main Ministers on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at the Prime Minister's Office.

During the meeting, discussions were held on the situation relating to the TPP in Japan and overseas.

Based on the discussion in the meeting, the Prime Minister said,

“Today the global free trade system is at a crossroads. There are concerns that the benefits of economic growth are not being shared equally and if these concerns spread it could threaten support for free trade. We must not ignore these incipient buds of protectionism. They must be stopped, with all countries working to promote free trade with the understanding and support of their people.

The world is watching what Japan will do. We must take the lead ahead of other countries in gaining the approval of the Diet for the TPP agreement, and so providing impetus towards its early entry into force. I firmly believe that this is the mission of Japan, as a country that has achieved economic development through free trade. We must achieve this goal in the current session of the Diet.

Under the new TPP rules an economic sphere covering 40% of the world’s economy will be created that correctly appreciate added value. The TPP will enable agricultural businesses and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to make great advances. There are growing expectations for the early entry into force of the TPP, as a trigger for growth.

The TPP is not just about economics. It will deepen the economic bonds between countries that share the same basic values. This will help to stabilize the region.

Through deliberations in the Diet we will gain the understanding and support of the people of Japan. To this end we must provide careful explanations and engage fully in discussions. I want the Government to work together and focus all its energies with this in mind.”

Cabinet Secretariat [Friday, Oct 7, 2016]

Headquarters for the Promotion of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held the fifth meeting of the Headquarters for the Promotion of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games at the Prime Minister’s Office.

At the meeting, there were reports on “Government initiatives toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games,” “partial amendments to the plan to open a liaison meeting for relevant ministries and agencies related to the host town of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games,” and “the state of preparations for Rugby World Cup 2019.”

Based on the discussion, the Prime Minister said,

“Last month, the Rio de Janeiro Games drew to a close, with our Japanese athletes putting in strong performances. Seeing the athletes work so hard in the limelight while carrying everyone’s expectations on their backs made me again feel the power of sport to invigorate people and society.

Next up is the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. I myself was able to firmly receive the baton passed to me from Brazil. The Government has moved ahead with the necessary preparations based on our basic policy since last November, and in order to make the Tokyo Games the world’s best, we must accelerate those preparations.

In the midst of the tragic terrorist incidents occurring in places around the world, the Government as a whole must ensure utmost preparation of counterterrorism measures and cyber security measures in order to ensure the safety and security of the athletes, spectators, and Japanese public.

With regard to the Paralympic Games in 2020, we will aim to achieve the best ever Games and use the impetus of these Games to create a society of coexistence through the implementation of universal design and barrier-free efforts.

Furthermore, the Olympic and Paralympic Games will serve as ‘Recovery Olympics’ and be an impetus for the vitalization of the regions. We will work to spread the impact of the Games to every corner of the country through efforts such as promoting the diverse charms of Japanese culture among domestic and international audiences.

We must also thoroughly advance preparations for the Rugby World Cup 2019.

In order to ensure that these are Games that the public will celebrate, we must carry out decision making through an open process. At the same time, it is essential that we effectively and efficiently make use of our limited budget and time, through efforts such as controlling costs wherever possible.

I want all of members of this Headquarters to work even more closely with the host city of Tokyo and other relevant organizations to accelerate preparations based on the basic policy. Please exert even more effort for the success of the Games.”

Cabinet Secretariat [Thursday, Oct 6, 2016]

Presentation of the Prime Minister’s Certificate of Appreciation for Japanese Athletes Who Participated in the Rio de Janeiro Olympic and Paralympic Games

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosted a presentation ceremony of the Prime Minister’s certificate of appreciation and other events for Japanese athletes who participated in the Rio de Janeiro Olympic and Paralympic Games, at the Prime Minister's Office.

Over the 17 days of the Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro from August 5 to August 21, Japanese athletes earned 41 medals, including 12 gold medals. Over the 12 days of the Paralympic Games, held from September 7 to September 18, Japanese athletes earned 24 medals.

At the ceremony, the Prime Minister presented athletes with certificates of appreciation and commemorative gifts.

The Prime Minister made the following remarks,

“I want to truly congratulate everyone who earned gold, silver, and bronze medals, or placed in your competitions, in Rio de Janeiro. You won a total of 65 medals and 185 of you placed highly. All of these honors are truly the fruits of the long years of effort that you have made. At the same time, I think that they show the power of those who have supported you, and of Japan as a whole. I want to also express my heartfelt congratulations to all of the coaches, officials, as well as all of your family members, who more than anyone else supported all of you the whole way.

Your daily spectacular performance in Rio de Janeiro was truly moving for all of us. It gave everyone courage to see the way that all of you never gave up on the chance to win even at the very end.

I myself was a member of the archery club in university for four years, and I worked hard to practice my archery. When I entered the club, I remember thinking that I wanted to go to the Olympics, but after half a year or so, I realized that it would be impossible. Regardless of that, I continued to work at archery for four years. I believe that experience still continues to shape and influence my life.

All of you participated in a sports festival and played active roles in the kind of limelight that people around the world only dream of. I am confident that this valuable experience, which very few people in the world have had, will serve as an inspiration to you for the rest of your lives.

In 2020, it will at last be our turn to inspire the world. Toward the Olympics, we will pioneer a future for Japan through the power of sports. That is the kind of Olympics I want to host. I also want to make it the world’s best Olympics, in which athletes such as yourselves can play their hearts out at their top condition.

I hope that all of you who want to participate as athletes in 2020 will absolutely continue to work hard. Even if you feel that you want to contribute from a separate position, I hope that you will contribute to the success of those Games.

I would like to end my remarks by expressing my hope that all of you will contribute to the success of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games from each of your respective positions. I also want to state my wish that you make use of your experience this time and continue to be active.

Congratulations everyone, and thank you all very much.”

Ministry of Foreign Affairs [Friday, Oct 7, 2016]

Message of Congratulations from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the Occasion of the Awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Santos of Colombia

On October 7, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, issued the following message conveying his congratulations on the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to H.E. Mr. Manuel Santos, President of the Republic of Colombia.

I express my congratulations to President Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia, on winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

President Santos exercised great leadership in order to end an internal conflict lasting over half a century, and I extend my deepest appreciation for his tenacious engagement with the difficult challenge of reaching peace with the guerrillas.

The peace agreement is a ray of hope toward ending the last armed conflict of the Americas. I expect this agreement will serve as an opportunity to transform confrontation and violence into reconciliation and peace, and build a bright future and prosperity for Colombia.

Japan has consistently supported the peace process thus far. Japan will also cooperate with Colombia’s nation-building in the future, through support relating to mine-clearing and rehabilitating victims of the conflict.

Ministry of Finance [Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016]

G7 Fundamental Elements of Cybersecurity for the Financial Sector

Increasing in sophistication, frequency, and persistence, cyber risks are growing more dangerous and diverse, threatening to disrupt our interconnected global financial systems and the institutions that operate and support those systems. To address these risks, the below non-binding, high-level fundamental elements are designed for financial sector private and public entities to tailor to their specific operational and threat landscape, role in the sector, and legal and regulatory requirements.

The elements serve as the building blocks upon which an entity can design and implement its cybersecurity strategy and operating framework, informed by its approach to risk management and culture. The elements also provide steps in a dynamic process through which the entity can systematically re-evaluate its cybersecurity strategy and framework as the operational and threat environment evolves. Public authorities within and across jurisdictions can use the elements as well to guide their public policy, regulatory, and supervisory efforts. Working together, informed by these elements, private and public entities and public authorities can help bolster the overall cybersecurity and resiliency of the international financial system.

Element 1: Cybersecurity Strategy and Framework.
Establish and maintain a cybersecurity strategy and framework tailored to specific cyber risks and appropriately informed by international, national, and industry standards and guidelines.

The purpose of a cybersecurity strategy and framework is to specify how to identify, manage, and reduce cyber risks effectively in an integrated and comprehensive manner. Entities in the financial sector should establish cybersecurity strategies and frameworks tailored to their nature, size, complexity, risk profile, and culture. Informed by the cyber threat and vulnerability landscape, a jurisdiction can also establish sector-wide cybersecurity strategies and frameworks that outline how cooperation occurs between entities and public authorities in the financial sector, with sectors upon which the financial sector depends, and with other relevant jurisdictions.

Element 2: Governance.
Define and facilitate performance of roles and responsibilities for personnel implementing, managing, and overseeing the effectiveness of the cybersecurity strategy and framework to ensure accountability; and provide adequate resources, appropriate authority, and access to the governing authority (e.g., board of directors or senior officials at public authorities).

Effective governance structures reinforce accountability by articulating clear responsibilities and lines of reporting and escalation. Effective governance also mediates competing objectives and fosters communication among operating units, information technology, risk, and control-related activities. Consistent with their missions and strategies, boards of directors (or similar oversight bodies for public entities or authorities) should establish the cyber risk tolerance for their entities and oversee the design, implementation, and effectiveness of related cybersecurity programs.

Element 3: Risk and Control Assessment.
Identify functions, activities, products, and services—including interconnections, dependencies, and third parties—prioritize their relative importance, and assess their respective cyber risks. Identify and implement controls—including systems, policies, procedures, and training—to protect against and manage those risks within the tolerance set by the governing authority.

Ideally as part of an enterprise risk management program, entities should evaluate the inherent cyber risk (or the risk absent any compensating controls) presented by the people, processes, technology, and underlying data that support each identified function, activity, product, and service. Entities should then identify and assess the existence and effectiveness of controls to protect against the identified risk to arrive at the residual cyber risk. Protection mechanisms can include avoiding or eliminating risk by not engaging in an identified activity. They can also include mitigating the risk through controls or sharing or transferring the risk. In addition to evaluating an entity’s own cyber risks from its functions, activities, products, and services, risk and control assessments should consider as appropriate any cyber risks the entity presents to others and the financial sector as a whole. Public authorities should map critical economic functions in their financial systems as part of their risk and control assessments to identify single points of failure and concentration risk. The sector’s critical economic functions range from deposit taking, lending, and payments to trading, clearing, settlement, and custody.

Element 4: Monitoring.
Establish systematic monitoring processes to rapidly detect cyber incidents and periodically evaluate the effectiveness of identified controls, including through network monitoring, testing, audits, and exercises.

Effective monitoring helps entities adhere to established risk tolerances and timely enhance or remediate weaknesses in existing controls. Testing and auditing protocols provide essential assurance mechanisms for entities and public authorities alike. Depending on the nature of an entity and its cyber risk profile and control environment, the testing and auditing functions should be appropriately independent from the personnel responsible for implementing and managing the cybersecurity program. Through examinations, on-site and other supervisory mechanisms, comparative analysis of entities’ testing results, and joint public-private exercises, public authorities can better understand sector-wide cyber threats and vulnerabilities, as well as individual entities’ relative risk profiles and capabilities.

Element 5: Response.
Timely (a) assess the nature, scope, and impact of a cyber incident; (b) contain the incident and mitigate its impact; (c) notify internal and external stakeholders (such as law enforcement, regulators, and other public authorities, as well as shareholders, third-party service providers, and customers as appropriate); and (d) coordinate joint response activities as needed.

As part of their risk and control assessments, entities should implement incident response policies and other controls to facilitate effective incident response. Among other things, these controls should clearly address decision-making responsibilities, define escalation procedures, and establish processes for communicating with internal and external stakeholders. Exercising protocols within and among entities and public authorities contributes to more effective responses. Exercising also enables entities and public authorities to identify how potential decisions could affect each other’s ability to maintain critical and other functions, services, and activities.

Element 6: Recovery.
Resume operations responsibly, while allowing for continued remediation, including by (a) eliminating harmful remnants of the incident; (b) restoring systems and data to normal and confirming normal state; (c) identifying and mitigating all vulnerabilities that were exploited; (d) remediating vulnerabilities to prevent similar incidents; and (e) communicating appropriately internally and externally.

Once operational stability and integrity are assured, prompt and effective recovery of operations should be based on prioritization of critical economic and other functions and in accordance with objectives set by the relevant public authorities. Maintaining trust and confidence in the financial sector significantly improves when entities and public authorities have the ability to mutually assist each other in the resumption and recovery of critical functions, processes, and activities. Therefore, before an incident occurs, establishing and testing contingency plans for essential activities and key processes, such as funding, can contribute to a faster and more effective recovery.

Element 7: Information Sharing.
Engage in the timely sharing of reliable, actionable cybersecurity information with internal and external stakeholders (including entities and public authorities within and outside the financial sector) on threats, vulnerabilities, incidents, and responses to enhance defenses, limit damage, increase situational awareness, and broaden learning.
Sharing technical information, such as threat indicators or details on how vulnerabilities were exploited, allows entities to remain up-to-date in their defenses and learn about emerging methods used by attackers. Sharing broader insights among entities, between entities and public authorities, and among public authorities deepens collective understanding of how attackers may exploit sector-wide vulnerabilities that could potentially disrupt critical economic functions and endanger financial stability. Given its importance, entities and public authorities should identify and address impediments to information sharing.

Element 8: Continuous Learning.
Review the cybersecurity strategy and framework regularly and when events warrant—including its governance, risk and control assessment, monitoring, response, recovery, and information sharing components—to address changes in cyber risks, allocate resources, identify and remediate gaps, and incorporate lessons learned.

Cyber threats and vulnerabilities evolve rapidly, as do best practices and technical standards to address them. The composition of the financial sector also changes over time, as new types of entities, products, and services emerge, and third-party service providers are increasingly relied upon. Entity-specific, as well as sector-wide, cybersecurity strategies and frameworks need periodic review and update to adapt to changes in the threat and control environment, enhance user awareness, and to effectively deploy resources. Other sectors, such as energy and telecommunications, present external dependencies; therefore, entities and public authorities should consider developments in these sectors as part of any review process.

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism [Friday, Oct 7, 2016]

Building international cooperation on the development of LNG bunkering hub

Government of Japan signed a memorandum of understanding with other countries on 5th Oct 2016 at the 19th Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition (“SIBCON 2016”) in relation to cooperation on development of LNG as a marine fuel.

Japan is the world's largest LNG importing country and major Japanese ports are already having several LNG tanks in their premises. Last year, NYK Line introduced a LNG fueled tug boat in the port of Yokohama and Tokyo Gas – one of the major gas company in Japan – supplied the LNG to the tug boat from a LNG truck. In June 2016, MLIT established a steering committee for LNG bunkering in the port of Yokohama in cooperation with Tokyo Gas, NYK Line, YKIP (Yokohama Kawasaki International Port Corporation),which was a new government owned port operating company headed by Mr. Masamichi Morooka, ex-chairman of International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and other related authorities. MLIT is aiming at establishing a LNG bunkering hub in Yokohama, harmonizing with other environmentally advanced ports in the region. To promote to shift towards the use of LNG as a marine fuel, it’s necessary to establish a network of LNG bunker-ready ports across the East and the West. During the Opening Ceremony of SIBCON 2016, which was held in Singapore, the memorandum of understanding on multilateral cooperation of the following was signed.

Memorandum of understanding in relation to the cooperation on the development of LNG as a marine fuel

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan,
Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore,
Antwerp Port Authority,
Port of Zeebrugge,
Port of Rotterdam Authority,
Norwegian Maritime Authority,
JAX Chamber,
Ulsan Port Authority

Director-General, Ports and Harbours Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan, offered his comments when singing the MOU .
In particular, the Japanese government is taking necessary steps to strengthen the functional capability of the port of Yokohama as a LNG Bunkering base, where LNG Bunkering was first started last year. Through the operation of the world’s largest fleet of LNG Carriers, the introduction of the world first dedicated LNG Bunkering Vessel, and everyday operation of the LNG Fueled Vessels, the technical capabilities and knowledge of Japanese maritime cluster has been growing, giving Japan an enough potential to be able to lead the formulation of the international standards for LNG Bunkering. As the world's largest LNG importing country, Japan is going to contribute to the promotion of LNG as a marine fuel through its participation to the International Focus Group based on the MOU.