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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

January 19, 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]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga
(There were statements on the overview of the Cabinet meeting and on the ministerial discussions following the Cabinet meeting, and others.)

Q&As
(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question about North Korea. A spokesperson for the Institute for Studies of Japan of the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs has criticized Prime Minister Abe and Foreign Minister Kono’s visits abroad and their calls for countries to increase pressure on North Korea, saying that they are being too obsessive about sanctions. What is the Government’s response?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Such infuriating words by North Korea are a clear act of provocation against the security of the region, including Japan, as well as the international community, and are absolutely unacceptable. Japan will maintain Japan-US and Japan-US-Republic of Korea (ROK) cooperation, while also working with the relevant countries, including China and Russia, and use all means possible to maximize the pressure on North Korea and make it change its policies. There is absolutely no change in our approach.

REPORTER: I have a related question. North Korea also commented on the fact that Prime Minister Abe raised the abduction issue during his visit to Europe. North Korea asserted that, through its sincere efforts, the abduction issue has already been resolved. How does the Government view this assertion regarding the abduction issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, in the Stockholm Agreement of May 2015, North Korea expressed its will to conduct a comprehensive and full-scale investigation on all Japanese nationals, including victims of abduction. The abduction issue is a top priority of the Abe administration. The Government will continue to make every effort to realize the return of the abductees as soon as possible, while leveraging various channels and means to urge North Korean to fulfil the Stockholm Agreement, based on the principles of dialogue and pressure and action for action.

REPORTER: Our agency, Sankei Shimbun, has reported that the families of the abductees have sought to prosecute Kim Jong-un, First Secretary of the Workers’ Party, at the International Criminal Court, over North Korea’s abduction of Japanese citizens. Could you please share your views on this, including the possible involvement of the Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government believes that, besides the 17 persons that are officially deemed to be the abductees, the possibility cannot be ruled out that other persons have been also abducted by North Korea. Based on this recognition, we are aiming to ensure the safety of all potential abductees, regardless of whether or not they are officially deemed to be abducted, and realize their immediate return to Japan. In that sense, we will respond to the abduction issue while extending our close cooperation for the actions that you mentioned.

(Abridged)


 

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