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Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  February 2018 >  February 26, 2018 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 26, 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
 
REPORTER: I have a question regarding U.S.-North Korea relations. A high-level delegation from North Korea showed a positive attitude towards a U.S.-North Korea dialogue, in a meeting with the President of the Republic of Korea (ROK). What is the Government of Japan’s analysis of the true intentions behind this statement?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, in a statement issued by the White House Press Secretary on February 25, it was noted that the maximum pressure campaign must continue until North Korea denuclearizes and that the United States will wait and see whether North Korea’s message that it is willing to hold talks represents the first steps along the path to denuclearization. As Japan also considers it important to directly convey our views to North Korea, we have been engaging in such actions to date. On the margins of the opening ceremony for the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games on February 9, Prime Minister Abe had an opportunity to raise the issues of the abduction, and nuclear and missile developments, to President Kim Yong-nam of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea and conveyed Japan’s views. Japan continues to apply maximum pressure using all available means in cooperation with the United States, and trilaterally with the United States and the ROK, with the aim of getting North Korea to change its policies, and to create conditions so that North Korea is the one that is willing to seek dialogue.
 
REPORTER: If that is the case, can we understand that there is a possibility that the United States will engage with North Korea to confirm whether or not it is prepared to abandon its nuclear and missile development programs?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: What I have just stated is all that we will say. In the statement issued by the White House Press Secretary, it was noted that the maximum pressure campaign must continue until North Korea denuclearizes and that the United States will wait and see whether North Korea’s message that it is willing to hold talks represents the first steps along the path to denuclearization. As this statement shows, the United States has introduced extremely stringent unilateral sanctions measures and further strengthened pressure on North Korea.
 
REPORTER: Delegations from the United States and North Korea are visiting the ROK to attend the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Games. Have you received any information about whether the two sides will be meeting in the ROK?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am not aware of any such information.
 
REPORTER: The Government of the United States has announced new unilateral sanctions against North Korea, targeting shipping and trade companies, as well as individuals involved in so-called offshore ship-to-ship transfers and other actions, which violate the relevant UNSC sanctions. Is Japan also contemplating the introduction of similar measures against these entities and individuals?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, based on the measures implemented by the United States and various other considerations, the Government will continue to seriously consider our response, based on the perspective of what would be the most effective means of strengthening pressure on North Korea to achieve the comprehensive resolution of all matters of concern.
 
REPORTER: Are we to understand, therefore, that the Government is considering implementing measures including those against the same entities and individuals?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have just noted, taking into consideration the measures that the U.S. recently announced, the Government will consider our own responses, from the perspective of what would be the most effective means of strengthening pressure on North Korea to achieve the comprehensive resolution of all matters of concern.
 
REPORTER: If the United States were to engage in dialogue for the purpose of seeking denuclearization, would Japan also consider engaging with North Korea in dialogue for the same purpose?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan has conveyed its stance directly to North Korea concerning the denuclearization and the abandonment of its missile program. It is important to apply maximum pressure, using all available means, to create conditions so that North Korea is the one that willingly seeks dialogue. The Government is engaging in such efforts.
 
REPORTER: I have a question on a different topic. The Trump administration has announced that the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem will be brought forward significantly to May this year. The Palestinian side has expressed strong objections to this plan and there are increasing concerns about the possibility of large-scale clashes. Can I ask for the Government’s views on this point and what role Japan should play in seeking a solution to this issue?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Government is aware of the announcement made by the United States to set a specific date for the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. We will continue to closely monitor the developments concerning this matter. With regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Government of Japan supports a two-state solution. Our position is that the final status of Jerusalem is part of a range of issues that should be resolved through negotiations between the parties, based on the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions that have been adopted and agreements previously reached by the parties concerned. Through our own unique efforts such as the “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” initiative, we will continue to promote the building of trust between the parties and make a firm contribution towards the realization of peace in the Middle East.
 
REPORTER: I have a question on a different topic. Chinese media are reporting that the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China will submit to the National People’s Congress a proposal for revisions to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China that removes the term limit for the President. This proposal has raised concerns about the adverse effects of the concentration of power because if the constitution is revised it will open the way for a long-term administration led by President Xi Jinping. Could I ask for a comment from the Government about this matter?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: While we are aware of the media reports, I would like to refrain from making comments on the internal affairs of another country. In any event, the Government will continue to closely watch the related discussion at the National People’s Congress closely.
 
REPORTER: I would like to return to the topic related to a U.S.-North Korea dialogue. Given that North Korea has expressed its strong willingness for dialogue with the United States, does the Government see that the UNSC sanctions imposed to date are having an effect?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I noted earlier, the United States has indicated that it will wait and see whether North Korea’s message represents the first steps along the path to denuclearization. I believe that would be the case.
 
REPORTER: You have repeatedly stated that dialogue for the sake of dialogue is meaningless. Is the Government not concerned that North Korea’s indication to seek talks with the United States could be another case of dialogue for the sake of dialogue?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have said before, dialogue for the sake of dialogue is completely meaningless. There is no change to our position to cooperate with the international community to apply strong pressure on North Korea and make it change its policies.
 
(Abridged)
 

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