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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

May 25, 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: In a statement made by President Trump before noon, yesterday, local time,  he had spoken to Japan and Japan said that, if an unfortunate situation was forced upon, meaning a contingency arising in the Korean Peninsula, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) are willing to shoulder much of any financial burden related to costs incurred by the U.S. military. Could you tell us the facts behind these comments, when the Government held such discussions, and what the Government’s policy is on this matter?
 
DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NISHIMURA: While Japan and the United States have been coordinating policies closely, I would like to refrain from touching upon specific details about our interactions. We are envisaging and preparing for various situations, while closely coordinating our policies towards relating to North Korea.
 
REPORTER: In response to President Trump’s announcement that he has cancelled the summit meeting, North Korea issued a statement asking the United States to reconsider. From my frank impression, this statement can show that North Korea has softened its stance. Could you tell us the Government’s thoughts about whether the summit meeting will actually take place after all?
 
DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NISHIMURA: That interaction was made between the United States and North Korea, and Japan is not in a position to explain that. The position of the U.S. is as, stated in the letter, of President Trump. There is nothing to add as he also made a few comments on that afterwards. Meanwhile, North Korea also subsequently issued its own comments on this matter. Japan has called for the complete denuclearization of North Korea, or the resolution of the nuclear and missile issues as well as the issue of the abductions, which is a critical issue for Japan. The U.S. understands this, and Japan and the U.S. fully agreed on their policies. Based on such recognition, moving forward, we will continue to work closely with the United States.
 
REPORTER: In his letter, President Trump left open the option of holding a summit meeting and changing the timing. Does the Government consider that the meeting has been cancelled or postponed?
 
DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NISHIMURA: As I have just noted, the U.S. position is as stated in the letter of President Trump. The President also made a few comments following the letter. Japan is not in a position to explain whether the President’s intention is to cancel or postpone. In any event, we have been closely coordinating our policies towards North Korea with the United States, and we will continue to coordinate closely with the United States, closely monitoring developments of the U.S.-North Korea relations.
 
REPORTER: I have a question on a different topic. A media outlet reported that the Chinese authorities have detained 21 Japanese nationals, including both men and women, who are thought to be members of a Christian organization. Could you tell us any details that the Government is aware of on this matter?
 
DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NISHIMURA: We have received reports from our Embassy and Consulates-General in China that during the period from May 5 to 15 a total of 21 Japanese nationals got detained in multiple locations in China on suspicion of contravening domestic laws. It was also confirmed that five of them had already returned to Japan. We will continue to collect information from the relevant local authorities and respond appropriately on this matter.
 
(Abridged)
 
REPORTER: Prime Minister Abe, who is currently in St. Petersburg, stated that he respected and supported the decision of President Trump to cancel the summit meeting. You have just stated that Japan is not in a position to explain whether the President’s letter indicates the actual cancellation or the postponement of the summit meeting, so could you tell us specifically what extent the Prime Minister respects and supports?
 
DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NISHIMURA: Just as the Prime Minister himself stated, he supports President Trump’s decision and policy with regard to this matter. In any event, we will continue to closely coordinate our policies with the United States.
 
(Abridged)
 
REPORTER: With regard to the detainment of Japanese nationals in China, you stated that the Government is collecting information and responding appropriately. Could you tell us whether the Government has taken any actions vis-a-vis with the Government of China on this matter?
 
DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NISHIMURA: The Government has expressed strong concerns to China about this matter and has requested to take an appropriate response on various occasions. Meanwhile, I would like to refrain from touching upon further detail.

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