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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

April 21, 2017 (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]

Opening Remarks

(Abridged)

If a ballistic missile launched by North Korea may reach Japan, the Government will utilize the J-ALERT national instant warning system to send out an emergency alert, working together with regional public organizations. Recently, there has been a high level of interest among the people, as indicated by the large increase in access count to the Civil Protection Portal Site, which publishes information on the flow of information dissemination through J-ALERT, and the number of inquiries made to the Cabinet Secretariat. In light of this, we have compiled information on the actions that civilians should take to protect themselves in the event that emergency information is disseminated by the Government through J-ALERT, and today we published this information on the Civil Protection Portal Site. Furthermore, we have notified regional public organizations of this, and requested their cooperation in sharing this information with their residents. An explanatory meeting will also be held today for individuals responsible for the protection of civilians across all prefectures in Japan. The Government will continue its close cooperation with the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), and other countries, and will take all possible measures with a sense of vigilance, including information gathering, and monitoring and surveillance activities.

Q&As

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question related to North Korea. The United Nations Security Council made a statement to the press strongly condemning the ballistic missile launch on April 16 by North Korea. How does the Government of Japan evaluate this statement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In the early morning of April 21, the Security Council made a press statement strongly condemning the ballistic missile launch made by North Korea on April 16, and demanding that North Korea immediately cease further actions in violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions and comply fully with its obligations under these resolutions. The recent statement demonstrates the united stance of the Security Council that North Korea's nuclear and missile development is unacceptable. Furthermore, Japan will continue its close cooperation with the United States and the ROK, and strongly urge North Korea to refrain from provocations and to strictly and fully comply with Security Council Resolution 2321 and other relevant resolutions.

REPORTER: There was disagreement between the United States and Russia regarding the initial draft of the recent statement, but the two countries agreed to the revised version. Going forward, does the Government of Japan believe that the international community, including China and Russia, can work as one to further increase pressure on North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from commenting in detail on the deliberations of the Security Council. In any case, Japan will continue to take thorough steps to ensure that North Korea does not engage in further provocations, utilizing the platform provided by the United Nations, which issued the recent Security Council Resolution (statement).

REPORTER: Including the recent statement demanding that North Korea refrain from provocations, pressure from the international community has increased. Based on the Government's current analysis, are there any indications of further provocations by North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government is constantly carrying out special monitoring of North Korea, and is taking all necessary measures to secure the safety and peace of mind of our citizens, including thorough monitoring and analysis efforts.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question about North Korea. The Six-Party Talks serve as a framework to resolve the North Korea problem. The talks have not been held for approximately 10 years, but does the Government believe the Six-Party Talks would be effective?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, a trilateral meeting among the representatives of Japan, the United States, and the ROK to the Six-Party Talks will be held on April 25 in Tokyo. Currently the plan is for Director-General Kanasugi of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau to chair the meeting. At the meeting we will discuss the nature of Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation and thoroughly align our policies. Furthermore, while we consider the Six-Party Talks themselves to be an effective framework, the current conditions do not warrant the holding of the talks any time soon. We will first hold a meeting on April 25 to ensure close cooperation among the representatives of Japan, the United States, and the ROK to the Six-Party Talks.

REPORTER: I have a related question. If North Korea were to make a request to China, the chair of the Six-Party Talks, for dialogue within the framework of the Six-Party Talks or a trilateral framework of the United States, China, and North Korea, would the Government of Japan be able to accept this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As this is a hypothetical situation, I would like to refrain from providing an answer at this time on behalf of the Government. However, the Government's position is that we will seek a comprehensive resolution of the outstanding issues of concern related to North Korea, based on the principles of "dialogue and pressure" and "action for action" while closely cooperating with the relevant countries, including the United States and the ROK. Our position remains completely unchanged.

REPORTER: The Trump administration has stated that the North Korea policies of the last 20 years have been a failure. Does the Government also consider the North Korea policies, including the Six-Party Talks, to have been a failure?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe you are referring to a statement by Secretary of State Tillerson. In any case, my understanding is that Secretary of State Tillerson was explaining that the U.S. Government must review its North Korea policies, based on the fact that North Korea has continued its nuclear and missile development, despite the initiatives taken by the United States to date. In that context, and in light of the fact that the security environment surrounding Japan is becoming increasingly severe, we understand that it is critical to maintain the deterrence capacity of the United States. We therefore value the stance of the United States of keeping all options on the table, based on a review of its North Korea policy. As I just explained, Japan's stance remains unchanged. We will cooperate closely with the United States and the ROK based on the principles of "dialogue and pressure" and "action for action," while also making the necessary appeals to China and Russia, to deter North Korea from engaging in provocations and ensure that it strictly complies with the relevant Security Council resolutions.

REPORTER: A shooting incident that is considered to have been an act of terrorism has occurred in France. Can you please tell us whether any Japanese nationals were among the victims, and what the Government's response will be?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, we are aware that a shooting incident took place in Paris in the early hours today, Japan time, resulting in a number of deaths. Japan offers it heartfelt condolences for the deceased and their families. We also offer our prayers for the quick recovery of those injured in the incident. This incident is still being investigated by the French authorities. We are aware that it may have been an act of terrorism. If it was indeed an act of terrorism, terrorism is unforgivable under any circumstances, and we will continue proactively strengthening our counter-terrorism measures, while cooperating with the international community, including France. As of now, we have not received any information that Japanese nationals were among the victims of the incident.

(Abridged)


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