Skip to main content

Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  September 2017 >  September 3, 2017 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

September 3, 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
A short while ago, the National Security Council (NSC) held a meeting and discussed information related to the nuclear test conducted by North Korea. The meeting confirmed the latest facts relating to the nuclear test by North Korea and engaged in analysis, in addition to which discussions were held once again concerning Japan’s response policy to this latest situation. In terms of the status of cooperation with other countries, there was a report about the outcomes of a telephone talk between Mr. Shotaro Yachi, Secretary General of the National Security Secretariat, and Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster, U.S. National Security Advisor. In addition, the Prime Minister gave instructions to work closely with countries concerned, such as the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK), while gathering information and maintaining surveillance and monitoring, and to undertake maximum efforts to ensure the safety and security of the public.

Q&As

REPORTER: With regard to the impact on Japan of radioactive materials, as of now have any of the monitoring stations detected any abnormal readings?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I have received a report that from 2:00 p.m. today an aircraft of the Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) collected samples of atmospheric floating dust, which are currently being sent for analysis. I hear that if necessary plans are also being made to dispatch a C-130 transport aircraft to collect atmospheric gas. As of 3:00 p.m. today no abnormal readings relating to radioactive materials have been detected by any of the monitoring stations nationwide.

REPORTER: What is the status of analysis concerning North Korea’s claim that it has conducted a test of a hydrogen bomb?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware that North Korea has announced that the test was of a hydrogen bomb. The details of the test are currently being analyzed, but the possibility that this was a hydrogen bomb test cannot be denied. In any event, the Government will continue to cooperate with the United States and the ROK closely as we engage in thorough analysis concerning the details of the test by North Korea.

REPORTER: I have a related question. China has issued a statement condemning the nuclear test, which uses stronger language than that previously used when North Korea has conducted tests in the past. What is the Government’s view of this response by China?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China has issued a statement, which expresses resolute opposition and strong condemnation of the test, and calls for North Korea to fully and earnestly abide by the relevant resolutions of the U.N. Security Council. I believe that this demonstrates that the latest nuclear test seriously undermines the peace and security of the region as well as the international community. The Government will continue to work closely with the United States and the ROK, as well as China and Russia, in responding to North Korea.

REPORTER: The Korea Meteorological Administration of the ROK has announced that today’s explosion was five to six times larger than the previous nuclear test and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has announced that the energy released was approximately 10 times larger than the previous test. What is the Government’s view of today’s test in comparison with previous tests?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As the JMA has announced the earthquake today was estimated at a magnitude of 6.1, the largest-ever tremor following a nuclear test. Although the details are still being analyzed it is the Government’s recognition that the test was far larger than previous tests.

REPORTER: You have already mentioned the response by China, and it is also the case that President Moon of the ROK has announced that he has given instructions for the ROK to work with the international community in considering the strongest response to provocative acts by North Korea, including this nuclear test. Does the Government consider it necessary to engage in summit telephone talks with the United States and the ROK?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Although nothing has been decided at the current time, we are seeking to hold talks at the leaders’ level, and also at the foreign ministers’ and defense ministers’ levels.

REPORTER: You have said that although analysis is still being conducted, the possibility cannot be denied that this latest test was of a hydrogen bomb device. Could you please explain the reasoning behind this view?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have already noted, the earthquake caused by this test was measured at a magnitude of 6.1, the largest-ever magnitude following such a test. Although the details are still being analyzed the possibility cannot be discounted that this was a hydrogen bomb test. That is the current view of the Government with interim analysis.

REPORTER: Is the fact that the magnitude of the earthquake was 6.1 on this occasion a factor in recognizing the possibility that this was a hydrogen bomb test?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: When comparing the magnitude to past tests and various other tests that have previously taken place around the world, the Government considers that the possibility cannot at the moment be discounted.

REPORTER: The statement released by the Government of China condemning the test uses stronger language than previous statements. What is the Government’s expectation concerning how China will respond to North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe that the strongly worded statement issued by China reflects the fact that this test seriously undermines the peace and security of the region as well as the international community. The Government will continue to call on China and Russia to play responsible and constructive roles at various levels so that we can use the power of the United Nations to make North Korea change its policies.

REPORTER: What is the current status of coordination concerning Japan-U.S. and Japan-ROK summit telephone talks? Are they likely to take place today, tomorrow or in the near future?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It is currently nighttime in the United States, but not withstanding the time difference Mr. Shotaro Yachi, Secretary General of the National Security Secretariat, and Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster, U.S. National Security Advisor, have recently held talks on this issue. We will continue to coordinate such talks at various levels of government.
 

Page Top

Related Link