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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

December 5, 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.)

On December 14, Prime Minister Abe is scheduled to attend the UHC (Universal Health Coverage) Forum 2017, an international conference on global health, which will be held in Tokyo.

H.E. Mr. António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), will pay an official working visit to Japan from December 13 to 14 to attend the Forum. This will be Mr. Guterres’ first visit to Japan as the UN Secretary-General. During his stay in Japan, Prime Minister Abe will hold a meeting with the Secretary-General and host a luncheon in his honor.

H.E. Mr. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, will also pay a visit to Japan from December 11 to 14 to attend the Forum. During his stay in Japan, Prime Minister Abe will hold a meeting with the President and host a dinner in his honor.

It is expected that their visits will further deepen the cooperative relations between Japan and the UN as well as Japan and Senegal.

Q&As

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question regarding North Korea. Mr. Jeffery Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs of the United Nations, is scheduled to visit North Korea from today until December 8, where he will meet with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and other senior officials in Pyongyang. What is the Government’s evaluation of the moves that have been made towards such meetings?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Government is aware of the announcement that UN Under-Secretary-General Feltman will visit North Korea from December 5 to 8. The Government has extensively exchanged views regarding the issue of North Korea with the UN Secretariat, including this visit. We expect that, on the occasion of Mr. Feltman’s visit to North Korea, the UN will convey a message to North Korea about the need to change its policy, also taking into account Japan’s stance.

REPORTER: This visit to North Korea was decided after North Korea sought a dialogue with the UN. What is the Government’s analysis of North Korea’s motivation behind seeking such a dialogue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any event, we have maintained close communications with the UN Secretariat regarding the situation in North Korea. It was against that backdrop that this visit was decided. I would like to refrain from making any comment about specific interactions.

REPORTER: Are we to understand that following this meeting there will be no change to the policy of Japan, the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) to put pressure to cause North Korea to change its policies?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There will be absolutely no change to our existing policy. There is no meaning in dialogue for the sake of dialogue. Accordingly, there is no change in our stance of working with the international community to use all means available to place maximum pressure on North Korea to cause it to change its policies.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the UN Secretary-General’s visit to Japan which you mentioned earlier. I imagine that there are various topics to be discussed, including cooperation on the North Korean issue and the United Nations Security Council reform. What discussions is the Government expecting during the visit of the Secretary-General?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Government hopes to confirm our collaborative efforts between Japan and the UN towards the resolution of various challenges facing the international community, including the response to North Korea. We are also seeking to further deepen cooperative relations with the UN.

(Abridged)
 

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