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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

August 2, 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: The foreign ministers' meetings related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will be held from August 5, which are expected to discuss the issues of North Korea and other matters. I believe the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (2+2) meeting is also coming up. It can be regarded that these forthcoming meetings will make it difficult to change the Minister for Foreign Affairs. What are your thoughts in this regard?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Prime Minister has the exclusive right to reshuffle the Cabinet, and I, in my capacity, would like to refrain from making comments on this matter. We are making arrangements with the U.S. side to hold the next Japan-U.S. 2+2 meeting at an early date. However, no exact date has been decided.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: In his press conference Secretary of State Tillerson of the United States indicated that the United States would put pressure on North Korea while aiming to ultimately find a solution through dialogue. The Secretary also stated that the United States does not seek a regime change in North Korea. Does Japan share the views expressed by Secretary Tillerson?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Government of the United States has explained its intention to put greater pressure on North Korea in order to achieve the goal of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and it was in this context that Secretary Tillerson made his remarks. It is vital that North Korea demonstrates serious will and specific actions towards denuclearization in order to have meaningful dialogue with North Korea. Regrettably, however, North Korea once again launched a ballistic missile on July 28. At this time greater pressure needs to be applied on North Korea. Furthermore, during the Japan-U.S. summit telephone talk on July 31, the leaders agreed that maximum pressure needed to be applied on North Korea. Japan will cooperate closely with the United States and other relevant countries, and in so doing strongly urge North Korea to take specific actions towards the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula based on the principles of dialogue and pressure and action for action.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Do you believe that the existing responses under the current policy of dialogue and pressure and action for action can deter the provocative acts of North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I stated earlier, the Japanese and U.S. leaders agreed during their telephone talk that maximum pressure needed to be applied on North Korea. At this time greater pressure needs to be applied on North Korea, all the while keeping our basic policy as our fundamental policy.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I would like to return to a topic that was raised earlier. The Government has shown understanding for the U.S. policy that all options are on the table. You stated that the Japanese and U.S. leaders agreed during their telephone talk that now was the time to put pressure on North Korea. On the other hand, Secretary Tillerson has mentioned the so-called “'four no's.” Does the Government have concerns that the Secretary's remarks would weaken the pressure on North Korea and decrease deterrence?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Secretary made those remarks in the context of explaining the views of the Government of the United States about putting greater pressure on North Korea. I believe the U.S. views become evident if you read the remarks carefully.

(Abridged)

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