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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

May 9, 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 Japan-China-Republic of Korea (ROK) Trilateral Summit Meeting that was held today. At the summit the three countries confirmed that they will advance cooperation in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions in order to ensure that North Korea abandons its nuclear weapons and other programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. Could you tell us about the significance of this outcome?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, in the Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit Meeting, the leaders spared time to discuss the response to the North Korean issues, including the direction of North Korea policies based on the outcomes of the Inter-Korean summit. During the summit meeting, Prime Minister Abe stated that it is important for Japan, China and the ROK to engage in close cooperation in order to ensure that North Korea abandons all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. The three countries confirmed that it is their common position to continue to fully implement the relevant UNSC resolutions. Furthermore, it was also of high significance that the three countries affirmed their commitment to the denuclearization of North Korea at this important juncture ahead of the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting. The Government will continue to engage in close trilateral cooperation with the United States and the ROK and work together with the international community, including China and Russia, making maximum efforts towards the comprehensive resolution of all matters of concern, including the abductions, nuclear and missile issues.
 
REPORTER: With regard to the abduction issue, it appears that Prime Minister Abe called for the two leaders’ support and cooperation towards the early resolution of the abduction issue and gained their understanding. Could you tell us of the significance of that?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As you have just noted, in discussions on the response to the North Korean issues, the Prime Minister called for the two leaders’ support and cooperation towards the early resolution of the abduction issue and gained their understanding. Japan intends to leverage the pressure applied by the international community to compel North Korea to take a decision towards the early resolution of the abduction issue. In that sense, it was of the greatest significance that we have gained the understanding of China and the ROK about the importance of the early resolution to the abduction issue.
 
REPORTER: Until now the Government has expressed its policy of applying maximum pressure to North Korea until it abandons its nuclear and missile programs. President Trump has also indicated that the United States has the same intention. Are we to understand that in the summit meeting today there were differences in views over that?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: No, it is as I have just described. All three countries are of the same understanding. That is all.
 
REPORTER: U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo is currently visiting North Korea as part of preparations for the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit meeting. The office of the President of the ROK has stated that Secretary Pompeo is holding consultations with North Korea regarding the detained U.S. nationals, and that he is expected to return to the United States with them. Could you tell us your view on the impact on the early resolution of the issue of the abductions of Japanese nationals if Secretary Pompeo is successful in securing their release?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, we are aware that Secretary Pompeo, who is currently visiting North Korea, is supposed to hold consultations on the release of the U.S. nationals who are being detained by North Korea. Japan supports the United States’ efforts to secure the release of U.S. nationals detained by North Korea. At the same time, the United States also understands the importance of the early resolution of the issue of the abductions of Japanese nationals; in the recent Japan-U.S. summit meeting President Trump provided his strong assurance that the United States would do its best for Japan and raise the abduction issue in the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit meeting. We will continue to work closely with the United States and leverage the pressure of the international community to compel North Korea to take a decision towards the early resolution of the abduction issue.

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