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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

  • Japan-U.S. cooperation on sanctions against North Korea

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Following the February Japan-U.S. summit meeting in which the two countries agreed to cooperate on sanctions against North Korea, consultations have been held between the financial authorities of Japan and the U.S. Today, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and other U.S. officials who are visiting Japan, as well as relevant Japanese ministries and agencies, exchanged views and confirmed that the two countries will further cooperate on financial sanctions. During the exchange of views, the U.S. explained about the unilateral additional measures it had recently announced. Furthermore, Japan explained that it will move forward with procedures to implement measures promptly, bearing also in mind the additional measures of the U.S. With regard to the implementation of the recently adopted Security Council Resolution 2094, Japan will swiftly implement the sanctions contained in the resolution, beginning with those which are feasible, including financial measures and measures which restrict the movement of people and goods, and is taking steps to steadily implement measures in other areas. Japan will urge the international community to steadily and fully execute the resolution.


  • Sanctions against North Korea
  • The Osprey transport aircraft
  • Power outage at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

REPORTER: By financial sanctions or financial measures, what kind of measures is Japan envisioning exactly?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan is currently considering taking measures like those the U.S. has taken. (Abridged) By that, I mean measures against banks like the Foreign Trade Bank of North Korea and so on.

REPORTER: I understand Under Secretary Cohen and Japanese officials from the relevant ministries and agencies held consultations. Who exactly took part in the consultations to reach agreement on this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The participants were Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary Kanehara, Director-General of the International Bureau Yamasaki of the Ministry of Finance, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki, Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Sugiyama of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as officials from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.


REPORTER: I believe you spoke earlier about additional sanctions with regard to finance. In addition to these sanctions, you also mentioned a short while ago that Japan will restrict the movement of people. I believe such measures include prohibiting the re-entry of engineers. Will Japan be implementing these sanctions at the same time? Or will they be implemented sequentially?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The issue of people will naturally be included. Whether or not these measures will be taken all at once is still under consideration.

REPORTER: With regard to North Korea, I have a question regarding the application of the Act for Special Measures on Cargo Inspection of North Korean Ships, which was announced yesterday. It is said that the seized aluminum alloy rods were headed to Myanmar. There have been suspicions from before as to whether Myanmar was conducting nuclear development with the military support of North Korea. What are the Government's views regarding this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are not aware of where it was bound for. However, the Government had concerns about this ship leaving port from North Korea. Therefore, an inspection was conducted when it arrived in Japan.


REPORTER: It seems that again Osprey aircraft have flown from Okinawa to the Iwakuni base in Yamaguchi Prefecture and are conducting some kind of flight operations. Was any notification about this made by the U.S. side to the Japanese Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Regarding this matter, today, the U.S. informed Japan that four Osprey aircraft may depart Futenma and arrive in Iwakuni in the afternoon. Based on this information, Japan provided information to municipalities.


REPORTER: Could you please share with us any new information you may have on the status of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Regarding this matter, the nitrogen gas supply equipment and the cesium adsorption equipment that have been suspended have resumed operations. Also, the alternate cooling facility for the spent fuel pool at Unit 1 restarted operations at 2:20 pm. I understand that the remaining alternate cooling facilities for the spent fuel pools at Units 3 and 4 are expected to be restored by 8:00 pm today and the central cooling facility for the spent fuel pools by 8:00 am tomorrow morning. In any case, we believe it is critical that the causes of the power failure are fully investigated and efforts are made to prevent its recurrence. Therefore, we are now making every effort to uncover the causes. Thus, our original fears have been completely taken care of.

REPORTER: I'm sorry, but I would like to return to the issue of financial sanctions against North Korea which were discussed in your opening statement. Will the new measures you noted today be addressed under existing laws or a new law?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In principle, we intend to implement measures which can be taken under existing laws.

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