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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

July 3, 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]

Q&As

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I would like to ask about the summit telephone talk between Prime Minister Abe and President Trump this morning. According to some press reports, the two leaders confirmed that Japan and the United States will cooperate with the Republic of Korea (ROK) in increasing pressure on North Korea. Do these reports accurately reflect the content of the telephone talk?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: This morning, Prime Minister Abe held a summit telephone talk with President Trump for approximately 35 minutes. In advance of the G20 Hamburg Summit, Prime Minister Abe and President Trump exchanged views and undertook policy coordination regarding the situation in North Korea. The two leaders confirmed that they will promote close Japan-U.S. and Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation in order to lead the international community to strengthen pressure on North Korea, and that they will also continue to urge China to play a greater role. The telephone talk was held directly prior to the G20 Hamburg Summit, and the matters discussed were of great significance, including discussion on the state of Japan-U.S. cooperation as well as Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation, which will serve as a basis for discussions at the upcoming Japan-U.S.-ROK summit meeting that will be held on the occasion of the G20 Hamburg Summit.

REPORTER: How do you evaluate the point about Japan and the United States undertaking policy coordination regarding the situation in North Korea prior to the G20 Hamburg Summit?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have just noted, the telephone talk was of great significance in that it provided an opportunity directly before the G20 Hamburg Summit to discuss the state of Japan-U.S. cooperation as well as Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation prior to the upcoming Japan-U.S.-ROK summit meeting that will take place in Hamburg.

REPORTER: I understand that in the telephone talk, the independent sanctions announced by the United States on a Chinese bank that has been supporting North Korean nuclear development efforts were discussed. What was the Prime Minister’s evaluation of these sanctions and will Japan move to implement similar measures of its own?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan will continue to consider the most effective measures to comprehensively resolve the various issues of concern and in view of the latest measures announced by the United States, we will respond by continuing to work closely with the United States and other countries concerned.

REPORTER: There seems to be a difference in approach between the United States, which is looking to increase pressure on North Korea, and the ROK, which is looking for ways of engaging North Korea in dialogue. Given these differences, how will Japan and the United States engage with the ROK on this issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Cooperation among Japan, the United States, and the ROK plays an extremely important role in responding to North Korean issues. In addition, at the recent U.S.-ROK summit meeting, the two sides agreed that it is necessary to make a firm response to the threat posed by North Korea. Therefore at the upcoming Japan-U.S.-ROK summit meeting at the G20 Hamburg Summit, the three countries will work closely together to promote close Japan-U.S. and Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation in order to lead the international community in strengthening pressure on North Korea.

REPORTER: Can I confirm if in the telephone talk it was agreed that Japan and the United States will strengthen pressure on North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Prime Minister Abe expressed his support for the measures announced by the United States that are aimed at Chinese organizations and individuals. It was confirmed that Japan-U.S. and Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation will be further enhanced.

REPORTER: So cooperation will be enhanced to strengthen pressure on North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Yes, that is the case.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question about the joint economic activities in the Northern Territories. The joint public and private research team that had been dispatched to the Four Northern Islands returned to the port of Nemuro on Saturday. Could you share your evaluation about the outcomes of this visit?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, a joint public and private research team on joint economic activities in the Four Northern Islands was dispatched from June 27 to July 1. This visit was the first to be implemented based on the agreement reached at the Japan-Russia summit meeting and I have received a report that it was of great significance in assessing the objectives, scale and details of initiatives toward realizing joint economic activities on the islands. We will thoroughly analyze the information that was gathered on this visit and based on the results of that analysis, we will engage in considerations in Japan and discussions with Russia on the ways to realize joint economic projects, including discussions on the necessary legal frameworks. Joint economic activities will also be a very positive development toward the conclusion of a peace treaty and we will continue to engage actively in related measures.

(Abridged)

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