Skip to main content

Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  June 2017 >  June 13, 2017 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

June 13, 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: I have a question relating to peacekeeping operations (PKO). June 15 will mark the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the Law on Cooperation with United Nations Peacekeeping Operations and Other Operations (PKO Law). Could I ask for the Government’s evaluation of the results and significance of Japan’s participation in PKO to date?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: During the past 25 years, Japan has dispatched a total of about 12,000 people on 27 missions under the PKO Law, including Cambodia, Timor-Leste, the Golan Heights, and Haiti, contributing to global peace and stability. We view that the people and governments of countries receiving the dispatches and the international community have highly valued Japan’s efforts. Self-Defense Force (SDF) personnel continue to contribute to the activities of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) at UNMISS headquarters. Various conflicts are occurring around the world today and cross-border challenges such as terrorism, refugees and poverty are becoming ever more serious. It is against this backdrop and under the banner of proactive contribution to peace that we remain committed to making further active contributions in the field of international peace cooperation, leveraging Japan’s strengths based on its past achievements concerning PKO activities.

REPORTER: You have just mentioned the continued dispatch of SDF personnel to UNMISS headquarters. However following the recent withdrawal of SDF units there are currently no SDF units on dispatch in any PKO mission around the world. In what specific ways does the Government intend to make an international contribution in the future?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Speaking in general terms, under the banner of proactive contribution to peace, Japan remains committed to making further active contributions in the field of international peace cooperation, including enhancing capacity building assistance, and dispatching units and personnel, by leveraging Japan’s strengths based on its past achievements concerning PKO activities.

REPORTER: With regard to the future dispatch of units to participate in PKO, if there is an appropriate mission, will the Government actively consider dispatching units to participate in it?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As this is a hypothetical question I would like to refrain from responding. However, as I just explained, Japan will of course seek to contribute to the international community under the banner of proactive contribution to peace.

REPORTER: I have a question on a different topic. Today U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon held a meeting with Secretary General Yachi of the National Security Secretariat. I understand that the two exchanged views on issues relating to North Korea. Could you tell us what was discussed?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, Secretary General Yachi and Undersecretary Shannon exchanged views on the regional situation, including the North Korean issue, as well as Japan-U.S. relations. Both recognized that North Korea poses a most serious challenge and shared concerns about North Korea’s recent actions. Discussions also took place on the methods by which Japan, the United States and other countries can cooperate on this issue.

REPORTER: Undersecretary Shannon has indicated that in the meeting it was agreed that Japan and the United States will urge China to play a constructive role in increasing pressure on North Korea. Can I ask what kind of role the Government believes China should play?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from commenting on what was discussed, as this also involves the U.S. side. However, I will say that at the Japan-U.S. summit meeting held at the G7 Taormina Summit the two leaders confirmed that it is now necessary not to engage in dialogue but to put pressure on North Korea and that China has an important role to play in such efforts. Also, at the time of the visit to Japan by Dr. Yang Jiechi, State Councilor of China, at the end of last month, various views were exchanged with regard to North Korea. The Government will strengthen its cooperation with China on matters relating to North Korea.

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject. I have a question about the establishment of diplomatic relations between Panama and China. The Government of China announced that as of June 13 it has established diplomatic relations with Panama, which previously maintained diplomatic relations with Taiwan. In recognition of China’s “One China” principle Panama has ended diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Can I ask for a comment on this development and what impact you think it will have?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from making any comment as Japan is a third party in the matter you mentioned. If I were to say anything further, it would be to note that Japan’s consistent stance has been to support Taiwan’s participation in the activities of the international community, such as the World Health Organization, in an appropriate manner. We will continue to monitor developments with interest.

REPORTER: I have a question on a different topic. The presidential office of the Republic of Korea (ROK) has announced that Ms. Chung Hyun-Back will be nominated as Minister of Gender Equality and Family. It is being reported that the presidential office has expressed the hope that the new minister will work to renegotiate the Japan-ROK agreement on the comfort women issue. This would suggest that the presidential office of the ROK has in mind specific ideas about renegotiating the agreement. Can I ask for a comment from the Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As procedures are underway towards the appointment of the Minister of Gender Equality and Family and the appointment has yet to be confirmed I would like to refrain from commenting on this matter. However, the agreement reached at the end of 2015 was agreed upon by both Japan and the ROK. It is also valued by the international community and Japan considers that it is of the utmost importance to steadily implement it. We will therefore continue to carefully address this matter, engaging the new administration in the ROK through various channels.

Page Top

Related Link