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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

December 5, 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]

Q&As

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the North Korean wooden boat. We now know that in response to the interviews by the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), the police, and other organizations, some of the crew on the wooden boat which washed ashore on Matsumae-kojima island in Hokkaido have stated that they had their companions bring items that were found on the island. What information does the Government know? What responses is the Government considering?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the police and the JCG are now collaborating to conduct interviews of the crew and others. The necessary investigations are under way, including confirming the situation on Matsumae-kojima island. As investigations are being conducted, I would like to refrain from commenting on the details.

REPORTER: It has come to light that a sign that is attached to the front of the wooden boat read, “Korean People’s Army.” There were 10 crew members on board the boat. Were they military personnel or fishermen? Which is more likely in the view of the Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, we have not received reports of what you have mentioned. Therefore, as I just stated, the police and the JCG are now collaborating to conduct interviews in addition to carrying out the necessary investigations, including confirming the situation on Matsumae-kojima island. In any event, we are carefully checking the facts and examining the testimonies, including whether the crew could have been fishermen.

REPORTER: Some media have reported that the Government intends to purchase missiles that are capable of attacking enemy bases. Is this true?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, with regard to enhancing the capabilities of the Self-Defense Forces, it is true that the Government is always making various considerations to take all possible measures for the defense of Japan. At this point in time, it is not true that we have decided to introduce that kind of missile and set aside related expenses in the FY2018 budget as reported. In any event, we depend on the United States for our capabilities to attack enemy bases as part of our division of roles between Japan and the United States, and we will continue to not alter the fundamental division of roles between our two countries.
 

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