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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

August 25, 2016 (AM)

If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
This video's audio is a provisional translation through live simultaneous interpretation.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Q&As

REPORTER: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) met following yesterday’s launch of a ballistic missile by North Korea. However, it seems the UNSC was unable to reach a conclusion. What is the Japanese Government’s approach towards the UNSC discussions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, in the early morning of the 25th, informal consultations of the UNSC were convened at the request of Japan, the United States, and the Republic of Korea (ROK). At the meeting, the United Nations Secretariat briefed on the recent launch, and on this basis, exchanges of views took place among the members. Many members expressed that deliverables such as a UNSC statement should be issued swiftly and will continue to coordinate with each other. While I will refrain from speculating about what will happen going forward, Japan will address North Korea’s provocations in a timely and appropriate manner, in close collaboration with other UNSC members.

REPORTER: I have a related question. I imagine that whether or not China comes on board will play a key role in issuing a statement that condemns North Korea’s launches. Will Japan continue to persuade China?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Absolutely. Efforts will be made in this regard in close coordination with other UNSC members.

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject to China. Secretary General Yachi of the National Security Secretariat is visiting China since yesterday, and I understand he will be meeting with State Councilor Yang Jiechi of China today. Can you once again explain the significance and the objective of this visit?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Secretary General Yachi of the National Security Secretariat will visit China from the 24th to the 26th. This morning, he is scheduled to exchange views with State Councilor Yang Jiechi. Secretary Yachi routinely makes visits to countries concerned under the instructions of the Prime Minister and makes dedicated efforts to deepen relations with government officials of various countries. I believe this visit to China is being made as a part of this effort. 

REPORTER: I have a related question. In the context of deepening relations, I gather that Japan and China are exploring the possibility of holding a summit meeting on the margins of the G20 Summit that will be held in China in September. Does Secretary General Yachi’s visit have anything to do with arranging this summit meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, Secretary Yachi’s visit involves holding exchanges of views regarding Japan-China relations, the regional and international situations, among other matters. I would like to refrain from disclosing the content of the talks.

REPORTER: I have one more related question. It is about the Japan-China meeting but not in connection with the Secretary General’s visit. I understand that at the foreign ministers’ meeting yesterday, with regard to the situation in the East China Sea, Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida stated to the effect that the holding of a summit meeting would be incumbent on conditions in the East China Sea improving. Speaking to the press, Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China expressed the view that the situation in the East China Sea has returned to normal. Do you perceive that there are differences between the Japanese and Chinese understanding?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, at yesterday’s Japan-China foreign ministers’ meeting, Foreign Minister Kishida strongly urged Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China that the country brings the recent situation surrounding the Senkaku Islands completely under control, prevents recurrences, and improves the overall conditions in the East China Sea. In response, Minister Wang Yi of China acknowledged the importance of preventing conditions in the East China Sea from getting worse and avoidance of unexpected situations. He also commented that China hopes to improve Japan-China relations through repeated efforts for mutual understanding. In addition, as you referred to in your question moments ago, Minister Kishida commented that Japan hopes to move forward with improvements in the Japan-China relationship from a broad perspective through dialogue, including a meeting between Prime Minister Abe and President Xi Jinping during the G20 Summit if conditions in the East China Sea improve. Japan’s door is always open for dialogue. This has consistently been the case since the Abe government was inaugurated. Japan will take steady steps while maintaining communication with the Chinese side.

(Abridged)

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