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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

September 8, 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

(Abridged)

Q&As

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the earthquake in Mexico. A magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck at around 1:50 p.m. Japan time off the coast of Chiapas state in Mexico. Can you share with us any information that the Government may have, including whether or not the earthquake will trigger a tsunami in Japan, and warnings if there are any?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: A magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck at around 1:49 p.m. Japan time today off the coast of southwestern Mexico. As of this point in time we understand that a tsunami reaching up to 0.7 m was observed in Mexico. The Japan Meteorological Agency is now verifying whether there will be any tsunamis in Japan. I have been told that they will make a decision late this evening as to whether or not a tsunami warning will be issued based on tsunami observations in Hawaii. If a tsunami were to arrive in Japan, it is expected that it will hit Japan between the early dawn and the morning of September 9. In any event, the Government will closely monitor tsunami observations in other areas and take all possible measures, including the provision of information in a timely and appropriate manner.

REPORTER: Have you received any reports of Japanese nationals being affected by this earthquake?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We have not received such reports at this current time.

REPORTER: At yesterday’s meeting of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), journalist Mr. Soichiro Tahara stated the following. He said that when he proposed to the Prime Minister during their meeting in July that he undertake “an adventure to stake his political life,” he was referring to a visit to North Korea by the Prime Minister with a view to resuming the Six-Party Talks. Tensions over North Korea have increased quite a bit compared to July. What is the Government’s view regarding the need for resuming the Six-Party Talks and the option of the Prime Minister achieving a breakthrough in the situation by visiting North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I am not aware about this matter. In any event, as has been agreed upon between the leaders of Japan and the United States as well as among the leaders of Japan, the United States, and the Republic of Korea, this is the time to put greater pressure on North Korea and actions are being taken with the intent of strengthening pressure on North Korea in order to urge the country to change its policies.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I would like to return to the subject of North Korea. Tomorrow, September 9, is the anniversary of the founding of North Korea. With North Korea having conducted a nuclear test last year on September 9, there is a risk that this year North Korea will conduct provocations once again. What kind of monitoring and surveillance structure will the Government have in place for the anniversary?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government is always taking all possible measures to protect the lives, properties, and peaceful daily lives of the Japanese people. Therefore, I would like to say that this is not a special case and that we are always making utmost efforts.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I would like to go back to North Korea. With regard to North Korea’s provocations, what responses will the Government take against North Korea or vis-à-vis the countries concerned or the international community should North Korea launch an intercontinental range ballistic missile  or conduct a nuclear test tomorrow or in the near future?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from answering hypothetical questions. In any event, the Government will lodge strong protests against acts that are in violation of international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions.

REPORTER: I would like to change the topic to the nationalization of the Senkaku Islands. September 11 will mark five years since the nationalization of the Senkaku Islands. China, which unilaterally claims sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands, has repeatedly intruded into Japan’s territorial waters and sailed in Japan’s contiguous zone. The government led by the Democratic Party at the time upheld that the goal of nationalization is to maintain and manage the Senkaku Islands peacefully and stably . Does the present Government believe that this goal has been achieved?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, there is no doubt that the Senkaku Islands are an inherent part of the territory of Japan, in light of historical facts and based upon international law. Indeed, the Senkaku Islands are under the valid control of Japan. Accordingly, we view that there is no issue to be resolved concerning sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands. With Chinese government vessels continuing to intrude into Japan’s territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands since September 2012, the situation still remains precarious. The Government, having serious concerns about the situation, will act calmly and firmly . In addition, the Government will work closely with the relevant ministries and agencies to take all possible measures to carry out monitoring and surveillance in waters and airspace surrounding the Senkaku Islands.

(Abridged)
 

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