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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

April 21, 2017 (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

 (Abridged)

REPORTER: In the United States, President Trump has signed an executive order that will launch an investigation into whether importing large amounts of steel products threatens U.S. security, in accordance with the Trade Expansion Act. What is the Japanese Government's reaction?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are aware of the order. However, as it is limited to ordering an investigation at this stage, I would like to refrain from speculating on the exact impact. Speaking on that basis, the Government will be closely following the impacts on Japan-U.S. relations and on Japanese companies.

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject and ask about Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) relations. It has been over half a month since Ambassador Nagamine returned. During that time, Ambassador Nagamine has not been able to meet with Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn of the ROK. What is the Government's view of this situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are continuing to make arrangements for a meeting with the Acting President. In any case, since returning, the Ambassador has proactively exchanged opinions with several senior officials of the ROK Government, and also received briefings on the situation in North Korea from U.S. Forces Korea Commander Brooks and relevant bureaus of the ROK Government. We consider that Japan and the ROK, Japan and the United States, and all of the three are cooperating closely on policies for North Korea.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Do you then consider Ambassador Nagamine to be thoroughly fulfilling his diplomatic role in the ROK?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Yes, I believe so.

REPORTER: I have a further related question. With regard to the comfort women issue, Ambassador Nagamine was scheduled to directly request the Acting President to execute the Japan-ROK agreement. However, with the Ambassador still unable to meet with the Acting President, some regard that it will be difficult to make a breakthrough on this issue until the next ROK administration is established.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As Japan and the ROK have already decided on this, we just need to press for its implementation.

REPORTER: I would like to ask about the naming of Sea of Japan. From April 24, a session of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) Assembly, which is held once every five years, will be convened in Monaco. The ROK has formed a large delegation composed of over 30 people, including members of historical foundations, seeking to resubmit a proposal to write the name "East Sea" alongside "Sea of Japan." What is your view of this situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan is constantly keeping track of not only this matter but also various global movements. Whenever actions like this are taken, we explain Japan's official view to the relevant organization. I believe the Government will respond appropriately, and is responding appropriately, to the matter you have pointed out.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: An escort vessel of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) has left the JMSDF Sasebo Naval Base, coinciding with the timing of a U.S. aircraft carrier heading towards the waters of the Korean Peninsula. Will they be conducting joint training exercises?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, we are unaware of those reports. Japan and the United States make a wide variety of considerations regarding joint training exercises from peacetime. As this also concerns our partner country, we do not make comments on the content of those considerations between Japan and the United States, including whether any such training exercise will take place. We believe such comments should not be made.

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