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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

June 8, 2018 (AM)

 
If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
Simultaneous interpretation services for this video are provided by a third party.

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: I have a question regarding the Japan-U.S. summit meeting, which was held early this morning, Japan time. The two leaders coordinated the policies towards North Korea, in the run-up to the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting. Could you share with us the Government’s evaluation of the outcomes of this summit meeting?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As you noted in your question, in the Japan-U.S. summit meeting, the leaders closely coordinated the policies towards North Korea going forward, including the response to the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting that is scheduled for June 12. The two leaders shared their view that Japan and the United States as well as Japan, the United States, and the Republic of Korea, would coordinate closely to ensure that the U.S.-North Korea summit would be a historic meeting making progress on the outstanding issues of concern, including the nuclear, missile and the abduction issues. In addition, President Trump once again made a strong remark that he would raise the abduction issue during the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting, and the two leaders reconfirmed that they would continue to cooperate closely towards an early resolution of the abduction issue. The Government considers that this Japan-U.S. summit meeting, held directly ahead of the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting, provided a timely and extremely significant opportunity for the two leaders to meet face-to-face and confirm the policies going forward.
 
REPORTER: Prime Minister Abe has indicated that he is open to holding a Japan-North Korea summit meeting. Are we to understand that the Government will seek an opportunity to directly speak with Chairman Kim Jong-un, regardless of the outcome of the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First and foremost, the Government is engaging in close cooperation with the United States to make progress on the abduction, nuclear and missile issues, and we are cooperating fully to ensure the success of the historic U.S.-North Korea summit meeting. With regard to a Japan-North Korea summit meeting, it is of vital importance that any meeting must lead definitely to the resolution of the nuclear and missile issues, and above all the abduction issue. The Government hopes to have a summit meeting which leads to the resolution of the outstanding issues of concern.
 
REPORTER: The Prime Minister stated that he would take all possible means to resolve the abduction issue. To date the Government has indicated that, based on the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration, it would be prepared to provide economic assistance to North Korea after the normalization of diplomatic relations. Is there an option to make such assistance conditional on the resolution of the abduction issue?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I stated previously, Japan seeks to normalize relations with North Korea, in accordance with the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration, through comprehensively resolving outstanding issues of concern such as the abductions, nuclear and missile, as well as settlement of the unfortunate past. As is stated clearly in the Pyongyang Declaration, if relations are normalized then Japan will consider providing economic cooperation to North Korea. To put it another way, without the comprehensive resolution of the outstanding issues of concern such as the abductions, nuclear and missile, there is no chance to normalize relations, nor would Japan extend economic cooperation. There is absolutely no change to this policy.
 
REPORTER: The Prime Minister’s comments, which indicated his willingness to hold a Japan-North Korea summit meeting, have also sent a message to North Korea. How does the Government intend to work on the consultations between Japan and North Korea? Does the Government seek to engage in negotiations in the run-up to the summit meeting as seen in the cases of the inter-Korean summit and the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We have been engaged in interactions with North Korea by various means, including the embassy channel in Beijing. I would like to refrain from going into the details of such interactions.
 
REPORTER: Prime Minister Abe emphasized that Japan and the United States completely share the views towards the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting. If that is the case, are we to understand that Japan will refrain from using the term “maximum pressure” with regard to North Korea as President Trump stated?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: President Trump himself has stated that we are implementing sanctions, and those sanctions are very strong sanctions. He also stated at the opening of the Japan-U.S. summit meeting that until North Korea took actions to denuclearize, the sanctions would not be lifted. Japan is in full agreement and our position is perfectly in alignment with the United States.
 
REPORTER: It has been reported that the Japan-U.S. summit meeting also addressed the issue of trade. In the press conference following the meeting, President Trump stated that Japan would buy billions of dollars’ worth of additional products of all kinds. Was any kind of agreement reached on new investment or purchase of products?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Prime Minister Abe explained thoroughly regarding the contribution to employment in the United States through the active investments to the United States by Japanese companies. My understanding is that there was no agreement on any specific investment.
 
REPORTER: If that is the case, are we to understand that in the meeting the leaders confirmed the products that have already been purchased or the relevant contracts that have been concluded?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Prime Minister explained fully about Japan’s active investment in the United States, including the cases that automobile plants in the United States manufactures vehicles to be exported overseas and has created employment.
 
(Abridged)
 
REPORTER: I understand the purpose of drills as it is explained. Could conducting a drill, anticipating a missile launch, two days prior to the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting, send a message to North Korea that Japan does not consider North Korea’s dismantlement of missiles credible?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The U.S.-North Korea summit meeting has not formally been confirmed. The meeting has not being held yet.

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