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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 27, 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 was a statement on the overview of the Cabinet meeting.)
 
Q&As
 
REPORTER: A train which senior officials of North Korea seemed to be onboard arrived in Beijing, China on March 26. It is also believed that the person was either Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea Kim Jong-un or Ms. Kim Yo-jong. Could you share with us any information that the Government has related to this matter?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I would like to refrain from making comments on each of the individual press reports. The Government is constantly collecting and analyzing information with great concern regarding developments in North Korea.
 
REPORTER: I have a related question. If it turns out that the visit by a senior official is true what is the Government’s view on the purpose of making this visit at this timing?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from responding to a hypothetical question. In any event, the Government is constantly collecting and analyzing information with great concern regarding developments in North Korea.
 
(Abridged)
 
REPORTER: The Government of the United States has announced the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats, following the incident in the United Kingdom, where a former senior member of a Russian intelligence agency was assaulted. In addition, 14 European Union (EU) member states have also decided to introduce similar measures. How does the Government of Japan intend to respond to this incident?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, it is regrettable that British citizens were affected and the Government feels strong indignation at this incident. The Government extends its heartfelt sympathies to the United Kingdom and the people who were affected. The use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and the Government strongly condemns it. Parties using the chemical weapons should be punished. We directly conveyed such Government’s position to Russia at the recent Japan-Russia summit telephone talk on March 19 and the Japan-Russia foreign ministers’ meeting on March 21. We are paying close attention to the position of the Government of the United Kingdom regarding this matter, and we hope to see clarification of the facts as early as possible, through the ongoing investigation being conducted by the British police and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). We will also be working closely with the United States, as has been the case to date.
 
REPORTER: If that is the case, are we to understand that the Government has not yet decided about how to respond with regard to Russian diplomats in Japan?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government’s position has been directly conveyed at the Japan-Russia summit telephone talk and the Japan-Russia foreign ministers’ meeting. We hope to see clarification of the facts as early as possible, through the ongoing investigation by the experts.
 
REPORTER: Regarding the visit by a North Korean senior official to China, I believe you have stated to date that China has a major role to play in compelling North Korea to change its policies. Now, at this timing, there seems to be developments indicating that China and North Korea are moving closer together. Do you think that this will have any impact on Japan’s policy to heighten international pressure on North Korea?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are still in the process of collecting information about the details. Naturally we are also engaging in analysis as a matter of the utmost concern. At the current time, I would like to refrain from making any comments.
 
(Abridged)

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