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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

January 15, 2018 (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]

Q&As

(Abridged)

REPORTER: The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) of North Korea has criticized comments made by President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea (ROK) in his New Year press conference about the denuclearization of North Korea, denouncing them as reckless. The KCNA has also indicated that there is a possibility North Korea will not participate in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. Can I ask for a comment on this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I would like to refrain from commenting on individual interactions that take place in North-South relations. In any event, the Olympic and Paralympic Games are a festival of peace and the Government considers North Korea’s moves to participate in the Pyeongchang Games to be positive. At the same time, there is no change to our policy of taking the lead together with the United States and the ROK and cooperating with China and Russia to place maximum pressure on North Korea to make it change its policies. In any event, the Government will continue to closely monitor developments in the inter-Korean dialogue.

REPORTER: I have a question relating to Chinese government-owned vessels. This morning vessels of the China Coast Guard made incursions into the Japanese territorial waters. Following the case where a Chinese naval submarine navigated in the Japanese contiguous zone the other day, there has been increasing activity by Chinese government-owned vessels around the Senkaku Islands recently. What is the Government’s analysis of China’s aims in engaging in such activities?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I do not think that there has been any significant change in the situation. Meanwhile, in any event, the Senkaku Islands are an inherent territory of Japan, in light of historical facts and based upon international law and it is therefore highly regrettable that many cases have occurred where Chinese government-owned vessels have made incursions into Japan’s territorial waters. The Government has once again made a severe protest and strongly demanded that the vessels withdraw from the Japanese territorial waters.

REPORTER: What response measures is the Government considering, including the construction of a maritime and aerial communication mechanism?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The maritime and aerial communication mechanism would enable a swift mutual response to any situation and in the recent Japan-China summit meeting it was agreed that negotiations on the construction of the mechanism would continue. The Government intends to engage in these negotiations as planned.


(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question about the visit to Japan by the Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). The Executive Director requested a meeting with Prime Minister Abe during her visit to Japan. Could you tell us about the status of this request?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: A request was received from ICAN about making a courtesy call on the Prime Minister, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has responded that due to scheduling issues it will not be possible to arrange a courtesy call.

REPORTER: Persons concerned have been requesting a meeting out of a desire to advance discussions on the abolition of nuclear weapons. Do you have any thoughts to share with us on this point?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any event, it is simply a case that scheduling difficulties make it difficult to realize a meeting, no more, no less.

(Abridged)
 

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