Skip to main content

Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  May 2017 >  May 21, 2017 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

May 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]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Today, it seems that North Korea launched a ballistic missile in the easterly direction from the proximity of Pukchang of North Korea at approximately 4:59 PM. It is presumed that the missile traveled about 500 kilometers and fell into the Sea of Japan, which is approximately 350 kilometers east off the east coast of North Korea. It is also presumed that this missile fell outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). We are currently analyzing the details. As of now there have been no confirmed reports of damages to aircraft or vessels.

In addition, a meeting of the National Security Council was held from approximately 6:21 PM today, at which discussion took place on information gathering and the Government’s responses. During the meeting, the Prime Minister reaffirmed the three points of instruction he already gave out. The Prime Minister also instructed that Japan continue to work with the international community, as well as take firm responses by strongly urging North Korea to exercise self-restraint and steadily implementing relevant measures.

Q&As

REPORTER: Have you made progress on your analysis regarding the type of missile that was launched, its flight time, or other details?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are currently conducting expert analyses.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Does the Government view that today’s launch was conducted successfully?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any case, we are now in the middle of conducting expert analyses, and therefore, I would like to refrain from commenting on the details.

REPORTER: A related question. Although North Korea’s missile launches usually take place in the early morning or during the morning, today’s launch took place in the late afternoon. Furthermore, today’s launch was conducted after an interval of one week since the previous launch. What is your assessment of North Korea’s objectives in this regard?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are precisely analyzing these aspects related to the intentions and purpose of North Korea’s ballistic missile launch, and I would like to refrain from making speculative comments.

REPORTER: I have a question in this connection. When North Korea last launched a missile on May 14, it was intentionally conducted at a lofted trajectory to increase the altitude. As a result, the missile reached an altitude of over 2,000 kilometers. What do you know so far about the altitude reached by today’s missile?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are in the middle of analyzing this and other aspects, and I would like to refrain from making speculative comments.

REPORTER: You stated that you are currently conducting analyses. Leaving aside the exact measurement, do you regard that an extraordinary altitude was reached today?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We have a grasp of such information. However, I would like to refrain from speculating on the details as our analyses are ongoing.

REPORTER: With regard to the previous missile, the Government had also analyzed that it might have been a new model. Does the Government view that new technology of some kind may have been utilized in today’s launch?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are currently conducting comprehensive analyses based on the necessary information, and I would like to refrain from speculating.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida stated in a TV program this morning that the Government would strengthen its own sanctions against North Korea. Does the Government intend to elevate the level of its responses to North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any case, the Prime Minister stated a short while ago that Japan would take firm responses. It is natural that Japan takes rigorous responses against North Korea.

REPORTER: A related question. Based on today’s missile launch, is the Prime Minister scheduled to hold any telephone summit talks with the leaders of the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), or other relevant countries?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There are none yet scheduled at this time. However, in any case, it is true that Japan, the United States, and the ROK are working together closely under the framework of the United Nations Security Council.

REPORTER: I have one further question. As was also mentioned in an earlier question, North Korea has conducted provocative actions continuously without leaving any time interval in between. Does the Government perceive that North Korea will continue to conduct provocative actions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are currently taking responses and are conducting analyses from a comprehensive perspective that takes this and other aspects into consideration. I believe I should refrain from making speculative comments.

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the timing of the launch. President Trump of the United States is now on his first overseas visit and is not in the United States. Does the Government consider that such factors also had an influence on the launch today?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: So as I stated, we are now collecting information on the overall situation, including this and other aspects. I would like to refrain from making comments as we are now in the analysis stage.

REPORTER: I have a question on this topic. The U.S. Forces have stepped up its military pressure on North Korea, such as by deploying its carrier mobile units to nearby seas. In response to today’s provocative action, is the Government collecting any information from the United States regarding the responses of the U.S. Forces?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are taking responses in close cooperation with the United States.

REPORTER: You stated that the Government would take firm responses. I understand that the Government launched a protest in response to the missile launch a week ago. In response to today’s missile launch, is the Government considering applying pressure through ways other than launching a protest?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We have of course already lodged a protest. Under such circumstances, we will steadily implement the sanctions of Japan.

Page Top

Related Link