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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

September 12, 2016 (PM)

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 Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of Korea (ROK) indicated that North Korea could conduct another nuclear test. Does the Japanese Government share this view?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Japanese Government is constantly following the activities of North Korea with the highest level of attention, and is taking responses in coordination with the United States as well as with the United States and the ROK. I would however like to refrain from making comments due to the nature of the matter.

REPORTER: I have a related question. A meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) was held. Was it to discuss responses to North Korea’s nuclear test?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Today, a four ministers’ meeting of the NSC was held. Discussion took place on national security issues relating to outer space. I would like to refrain from disclosing the details.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning this matter. In seeking a new United Nations Security Council resolution, the Prime Minister stated at this afternoon’s Liaison Meeting of the Government and Ruling Parties, as you did yourself, that Japan is working closely with the countries concerned, including China and Russia, along with the ROK and the United States. I believe it is in connection with this that Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida is arranging to hold telephone conferences with the Chinese and Russian foreign ministers and others. What opportunities will the Government be utilizing to further call for their support? Can you tell us what you have in mind at this point in time?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, at the emergency meeting of the Security Council that was held in the early hours of the 10th at the request of Japan, the United States, and the ROK, members including China and Russia strongly condemned and opposed North Korea’s nuclear test. The Security Council issued a press statement stating that it will begin to work immediately on appropriate sanctions measures based on a Security Council resolution. Japan is undertaking maximum efforts to adopt a new resolution that includes further sanctions, in close coordination with the United States and the ROK, as well as in consultation and coordination with China and Russia, which are Security Council members and Japan’s neighboring countries in East Asia.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a related question. A United Nations General Assembly session will be held in the middle of this month. Will the Government be exploring the possibility of holding summit meetings with the two countries on such occasions for example?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Prime Minister has already held meetings with the leaders of both countries. At the United Nations Security Council, both countries have expressed opposition to the nuclear test, and the Security Council has begun to work on a resolution that condemns the nuclear test and imposes appropriate rigorous sanctions. It is first important that we make maximum efforts in this regard.

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the issue of the Senkaku Islands. Yesterday, on the morning of the 11th, four Chinese government vessels intruded into Japan’s territorial waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands. This was the first intrusion into Japan’s territorial waters since the 21st of last month, before the G20 Summit. The 11th also marked four years since the Government nationalized the Senkaku Islands. What is the Government’s understanding of China’s intentions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, from around 10 AM on the 11th, four China Coast Guard vessels intruded into Japan’s territorial waters in succession. All vessels left the territorial waters by around 12:11 PM. As of 4 PM today, I have been briefed that no Chinese government vessels were found sailing in waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands. In any case, the Senkaku Islands are an inherent part of the territory of Japan, in light of historical facts and based upon international law. It is extremely regrettable that intrusions into Japan’s territorial waters by Chinese government vessels occur frequently, which Japan regards as totally unacceptable. Japan once again lodged a strong protest through diplomatic channels and urged China to swiftly withdraw its vessels from Japan’s territorial waters.

(Abridged)

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