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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

May 14, 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 about the situation in North Korea. It has announced that the nuclear test site at Punggye-ri is to be dismantled sometime between May 23 and 25. Could I ask for a comment from the Government regarding this announcement and also how it would verify the dismantling process?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: North Korea has announced that a ceremony for dismantling the nuclear test site in the north of the country will take place during the period from May 23 to 25. The Government welcomes this announcement as a positive development following the recent inter-Korean summit. Through the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit meeting it will be important to elicit further concrete actions from North Korea, towards its dismantlement of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. Engaging in Japan-U.S. and Japan-U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) close cooperation and working together with the international community, including China and Russia, we will also continue to thoroughly take on an important role.
 
REPORTER: Japanese media have been excluded from the list of the countries permitted to cover the dismantling of the nuclear test site. What is your analysis of the intention of such exclusion?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I am not in a position to be making comments on the intention of North Korea behind its decision not to invite the Japanese media to the press occasion for the dismantling of the nuclear test site. In any event, we believe that, without being influenced by each and every individual rhetoric and action by North Korea, it is important for the Government to respond determinedly, based on its policies. The Government will continue to engage in Japan-U.S. and Japan-U.S.-ROK close cooperation and work together with the international community, including China and Russia, making every effort to comprehensively resolve outstanding issues of concern, including the abduction, nuclear and missile issues.
 
REPORTER: The U.S. Embassy in Israel is due to be relocated to Jerusalem today, May 14. Palestine is calling for protest demonstrations and there are concerns about clashes. Prime Minister Abe has consistently stated that Japan would play an active role in the Middle East Peace Process. Could I ask for a comment on this matter and also how the Government seeks to work towards resolving the issue?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government is aware that the United States plans to relocate its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem today. We are concerned that, in response to this, circumstances surrounding the Middle East Peace Process could become severer or the situation in the Middle East at large could be deteriorating. We are closely follow ing the relevant moves with great interest. Furthermore, we also take note that the U.S. clearly states that the final status of Jerusalem should be resolved through negotiations between the parties. In any event, there is no change to our position of supporting a two-state solution with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that the final status of Jerusalem is part of a range of issues that should be resolved through negotiations between the parties. It is precisely in such a severe situation that we seek to make a proactive contribution to promote the building of trust and provide opportunities for dialogue between the parties through our own unique efforts, such as the “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” initiative.
 
(Abridged)
 
REPORTER: I have a question related to North Korea. It is being reported that the Government has approached the Government of the United States on the possibility of President Trump visiting Japan after the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting to be held on June 12 in Singapore to holding a summit meeting with Prime Minister Abe. Could you tell us the facts behind these reports?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Nothing has been decided about the diplomatic calendar following the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting. I would like to refrain from commenting on interactions concerning a Japan-U.S. summit meeting as it also involves the U.S.
 
REPORTER: I believe that Japan and the U.S. are cooperating closely on the North Korean issues. What does the Government consider to be an appropriate way to receive a report following the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting and its outcomes?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, ahead of the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting we have been fully communicating our position to the President himself, and also to relevant U.S. government departments, and we have received the understanding of the U.S. So we will engage in adequate preparations. After the summit has taken place, we will continue to work closely with the U.S. and ensure the relevant channels and structures are in place, albeit we still need to decide in what manner this would be done.
 
REPORTER: Related to the earlier question about the exclusion of Japanese media from the ceremony at the nuclear test site, this deliberate act of excluding Japan at this preliminary stage has led some people to voice concerns over whether North Korea really intends to resolve various issues, including the abduction issue. What is the Government’s view on this point?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have already stated, the Government is not in a position to respond to questions concerning the North Korea’s intentions. It is important for us not to be influenced by each and every individual rhetoric and action by North Korea, but rather to respond determinedly, based on the Government’s position, to achieve our intended objectives. That is all we need to say.

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