Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  February 2013 >  Wednesday, February 13, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The Japan-U.S. alliance
  • Consideration on the right to collective self-defense
  • The nuclear test by North Korea
  • The issue of debris caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake

REPORTER: In his State of the Union Address, President Obama referred to the nuclear test by North Korea, noting that the United States would stand by its allies and strengthen its own missile defense. I believe that this statement also relates to the execution of the right to collective self-defense. Could you tell us what intentions the Government has about how it will cooperate in the area of missile defense?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: To date Japan and the United States have engaged in cooperation on ballistic missile defense (BMD) on various levels and in diverse areas. It is in the context of such efforts that wide-ranging cooperation has been implemented to date on joint development projects such as the SM3 Block IIA missile. In order to ensure the safety and security of the people of Japan, the Government seeks to further promote close cooperation on BMD with our ally the United States.


REPORTER: This relates to the first question, but could you tell us your thoughts on whether the nuclear test yesterday could have any influence on the discussion on the right to collective self-defense that the Government is looking to advance from now?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There will be no immediate influence, but as a study group to consider the right to collective self-defense has just been established, and as the Prime Minister stated during the election campaign, various experts will gather under the auspices of this study group and the Government will work to steadily compile and consider the opinions that are heard in that forum.

REPORTER: I imagine that work to analyze what type of weapon it was that North Korea tested is currently being implemented, however, do you have any information about the results of analysis that you could share with us, or any information that has been provided by the United States or the Republic of Korea (ROK)?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Analysis is still being implemented, but as has been the case previously, given the nature of the content and the situation, such analysis results are not announced. The Government will be taking the same stance on this occasion.


REPORTER: Following the resolution by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on January 22, North Korea had announced its intention to conduct a nuclear test. In the intervening period had any discussions or simulations been implemented within the Government concerning measures that would ensure there are no setbacks to inter-government consultations on the abduction issue? If any such discussions did in fact take place, could you share with us some of the details?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Under the leadership of the Minister in Charge of the Abduction Issue, the Headquarters on the Abduction Issue has been established. It is recognized by the Government that the abduction issue is one that should be advanced through a process of dialogue and pressure, however, separate to the abduction-related issues we have joined the international community in urging North Korea to refrain from the missile launch and in particular the recent nuclear test. However, despite the calls that have been made on North Korea the test was nonetheless conducted. Looking at the nuclear test from the perspective of the abduction issue, it demonstrates a stance on the part of North Korea of withdrawing from the policy of dialogue and pressure. In that sense I would strongly criticize the recent actions of North Korea. However, it is the stated policy of the Government to ensure the return of each and every Japanese national who has been abducted as early as possible, bearing in mind the sentiments of the families of the abducted nationals. Therefore, as I recently stated, the Government's policy is not to break off all dialogue, but to maintain our basic stance of dialogue and pressure, and seek to keep the path to consultations open, while roundly criticizing North Korea for its recent actions.

REPORTER: With regard to the issue of debris caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake, two cities in Niigata Prefecture have started operations to accept disaster-related debris and incinerate it. In response to these actions the governor of Niigata Prefecture has declared these operations to be criminal acts. It appears that the reason behind the governor's comments is the way in which the debris was incinerated. What is the Government's view of these comments, in view of the fact that the Government is seeking to accelerate the disposal of disaster-related debris?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Although I am not aware of the details of this particular case, the standards for the incineration of disaster-related debris state that if the level of radioactivity falls below standard values, then there is no problem in treating the disaster-related debris in the same way as general waste material. Therefore, I believe that in this case in Niigata Prefecture waste and debris disposal should be conducted appropriately and in accordance with the stipulated standards.

Page Top

Related Link