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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

September 22, 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]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga
(There was a statement on the overview of the Cabinet meeting.)

Q&As

REPORTER: I have a question about activities in North Korea. Chairman Kim Jong-un has released a statement condemning President Trump’s address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The Chairman is strongly protesting the address, stating that North Korea will implement the highest level of hardline countermeasures in history. What is the Government’s analysis of the content of this statement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the provocative words and actions of North Korea, including this latest statement, constitute clear provocations to the security of the region and the international community and are totally unacceptable. In the Japan-U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) summit meeting the leaders confirmed that they will work together even more closely to strengthen pressure on North Korea, including by fully implementing the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, and that they will make further calls on the international community, including China and Russia, to do likewise, and continue to engage in security and defense cooperation. Japan will continue to advance Japan-U.S. and Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation, including in security-related areas that will enable us to respond to any situation, doing everything we can to ensure the safety of the people.

REPORTER: The Foreign Minister of North Korea has indicated that the countermeasures referred to in Chairman Kim’s statement could include the testing of a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean. What does the Government think about the chances that such a test will actually be implemented?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of these comments and the Government will continue to respond under a comprehensive monitoring and surveillance structure to ensure that we can respond to any and all situations.

REPORTER: You have just referred to the Government’s comprehensive monitoring and surveillance structure to respond to any situation, but given that the Diet is expected to be dissolved as early as next week for the election of the House of Representatives, do you not see any issues with the Government’s crisis responses in the face of the rising possibility of further North Korean provocations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We have a comprehensive response structure in place. It is not the Government that is dissolving, and it is the case that the National Security Council (NSC) and the Ministry of Defense are taking steady responses.

REPORTER: It has been announced that President Trump has signed an executive order to impose additional sanctions against North Korea. Can I ask for the Government’s views on this announcement and whether Japan is also considering the imposition of any additional sanctions of its own?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We consider that the U.S. determination to put an end to the hostile actions by North Korea, which was indicated in President Trump’s address to the UNGA, was demonstrated by action. From the perspective of increasing pressure on North Korea to a new level, the Government of Japan strongly supports the new measures that have been announced by the United States.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question relating to North Korea, about the Japan-China Foreign Ministers’ meeting. In the meeting Foreign Minister Kono emphasized the necessity to exert a new level of pressure on North Korea, in response to which Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China referred to the importance of pressure as well as dialogue. This statement perhaps demonstrates the difference in the stances of Japan and China, against the backdrop of the international community working together to put pressure on North Korea, so can I ask for a comment on this point?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, in the Japan-China Foreign Ministers’ meeting, Foreign Minister Kono emphasized the necessity for the international community to unite in exerting an unprecedented, new level of pressure on North Korea. Both ministers agreed on the importance of fully implementing the relevant UNSC resolutions. In addition, both ministers reached a shared view that the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is a common goal of both sides, and that Japan and China will continue to coordinate closely for the peace and stability of the region. The Government will continue to maintain close communications with countries such as China and Russia, and is taking thorough measures at all levels with strong determination to compel North Korea to change its policy through the application of pressure by the international community as a whole.

REPORTER: It appears that in the Japan-China Foreign Ministers’ meeting the issue of the recent arrest of a Japanese man in China on charges of espionage was raised and Foreign Minister Wang indicated that the matter would be addressed appropriately in accordance with the law. What is the Government’s analysis of this latest meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As you just mentioned, Minister Kono raised the matter of this Japanese national detained in China and strongly requested a positive response, including their swift return to Japan. Foreign Minister Wang explained that the concerns of the Japanese side would be addressed appropriately in accordance with Chinese law. Due to the nature of the matter I would like to refrain from going into further detail.
 

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