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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 13, 2018 (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
 
REPORTER: I have a question regarding the response to North Korea. Today, Prime Minister Abe received a briefing from Mr. Suh Hoon, Director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) of the Republic of Korea (ROK), on his recent visit to North Korea, where he met with Chairman Kim Jong-un. Could you share with us the contents of the briefing from Mr. Hoon as to whether Chairman Kim expressed any views on Japan-North Korea relations, and whether he showed any interest in holding a Japan-North Korea summit meeting?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Today, Mr. Suh Hoon, Director of the NIS of the ROK, provided a detailed explanation on the recent interaction between the delegation of the ROK’s special envoys and North Korea, as well as the announcement made by the Government of the ROK on March 6 afterwards. We also closely coordinated our policy regarding future responses. Ahead of the ROK-North Korea summit meeting and the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting, we are currently in the process of preparing our policy in detail through Japan-ROK and Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation. Due to the nature of this matter, I would like to refrain from going into any further detail than what Japan has already announced to date.
 
REPORTER: Given that President Trump and President Moon Jae-in have set up summit meetings with Chairman Kim Jong-un, could you tell us the Government’s view on whether Japan will also seek a summit meeting with North Korea, from the standpoint of resolving the abduction issue? Also, the Office of the President of the ROK has explained that it conveyed to Foreign Minister Kono that Chairman Kim did not refer to the abduction issue during the meeting with the delegation of the special envoys. Could you clarify for us whether that is true or not?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, it is of the utmost importance for Japan, the United States and the ROK to continue to engage in close coordination of our policy toward North Korea ahead of the ROK-North Korea and U.S.-North Korea summit meetings. In addition, engaging in close trilateral cooperation, we will continue to consider our response from the perspective of what would be the most effective measures towards the comprehensive resolution of the nuclear, missile and abduction issues. In any event, ahead of the ROK-North Korea summit meeting and the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting, we are currently in the process of preparing our policy in detail through Japan-ROK and Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation. Due to the nature of this matter I would like to refrain from going into any further detail than what Japan has already announced to date. The abduction issue is of the utmost importance for Japan and Prime Minister Abe himself also strongly called for the resolution of the abduction issue to President Trump during the most recent Japan-U.S. summit telephone talk.
 
(Abridged)
 
REPORTER: I would like to return to inter-Korean relations. It is expected that Prime Minister Abe will confirm their policy regarding future responses to North Korea with President Trump, based on the meeting today with Director Hoon, when he visits the United States next month. How will the Government be seeking to confirm policy with President Moon Jae-in ahead of the ROK-North Korea summit meeting?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, through the occasion of Director Hoon’s visit to Japan, Japan and the ROK have had the opportunity to confirm that we will continue to engage in close coordination at the trilateral level, including with the United States, with a view to using all means to elicit a meaningful response from North Korea at the ROK-North Korea and U.S.-North Korea summit meetings. We will also continue to use all opportunities to engage in close Japan-ROK and Japan-ROK-U.S. cooperation ahead of these summit meetings.
 
REPORTER: If that is the case, are we to understand that there are currently no plans for Prime Minister Abe and President Moon to meet directly and confirm policy regarding North Korea?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Nothing has been decided at the current point. I would like to add that we regularly communicate with the ROK at various levels of government and closely coordinate our policy.
 
(Abridged)
 
REPORTER: Does Finance Minister Aso remain scheduled to attend the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Argentina next week? The meeting is expected to provide a forum for discussions on the international regulation of crypto-currencies, given concerns about their potential abuse for money laundering. Representatives are also expected to exchange views at the meeting on import restrictions, such as those implemented by President Trump on steel and aluminum imports. What would be the impact if Finance Minister Aso were to be absent from the meeting?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, following the Cabinet meeting today, Finance Minister Aso stated that his attendance at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, which is scheduled to take place in Argentina next week, depends on circumstances in the Diet. We are aware that the G20 meeting will address various issues facing the global economy, including recent developments in capital markets, and ways of responding to crypto-currencies. In any event, Japan will participate actively in discussions regarding important policy challenges currently facing the global economy and set out Japan’s position on these issues..
 
(Abridged)

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