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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Japan's response to the situation of North Korea
  • Japan-Taiwan fisheries consultations
  • Avian flu in China

REPORTER: With regard to a missile launch by North Korea, it has been noted that a launch is possible today. What signs of a possible launch have been confirmed to date?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It is extremely regrettable that North Korea is repeatedly engaging in provocative words and actions. The Government will not be swayed by such provocations and will continue to make a response in close cooperation with the countries concerned, primarily the United States. Diplomatic channels are being used to strongly urge North Korea to refrain from any provocative actions and make it understand that such actions are of absolutely no benefit.

REPORTER: What is the Government's view concerning the possibility of the simultaneous launch of multiple types of missiles, such as the Musudan or Nodong?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of the various views that are being expressed concerning this matter, but due to its security-related nature I will refrain from making any further comment. In whatever situation, the Government has a comprehensive structure in place that will ensure the safety and security of the public.

REPORTER: You have just mentioned provocative actions by North Korea and one of these has been to warn foreigners in the Republic of Korea (ROK) to evacuate. However, in response to this the United States authorities have made it clear that they are not taking any special measures to evacuate U.S. citizens from the ROK. Are we to understand therefore that no response is being made to this warning issued by North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are continuing to engage in cooperation and liaison with the countries concerned, including the United States, and in reports that I have received to date, there have been absolutely no moves to leave the country by staff of overseas diplomatic missions of any country stationed in the ROK.


REPORTER: For how long does the Government think that this tense situation will last?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: These provocative actions have absolutely no meaning and through diplomatic channels we will continue to impress upon North Korea that they have no benefit.

REPORTER: When you say impress upon, are you referring to the possibility of measures such as sanctions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Very recently the United Nations Security Council issued a resolution in response to the nuclear test by North Korea. Naturally Japan is cooperating with the countries concerned to ensure that North Korea complies with this resolution and we have already implemented our own sanctions. The Government will continue to call strongly on other countries to implement similar measures.

REPORTER: Are any preparations being made for additional sanctions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Naturally consideration is currently being given to additional sanctions.


REPORTER: Although it has not yet been announced, it is expected that the fisheries negotiations between Japan and Taiwan that have been running for many years will finally reach a conclusion today. What is the significance of this agreement and what is the reaction of the Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe that today in Taipei, the 17th Japan-Taiwan fisheries consultations between the Interchange Association, Japan and the East Asia Relations Committee of Taiwan will just have begun at 4:00 pm. The Government understands that these consultations are being held with the aim of preserving maritime resources in the East China Sea, as well as ensuring their rational use, maintaining order in the fisheries industry and also helping to maintain stability in the region. The Government's current expectation is that these consultations will reach a swift conclusion and a favorable outcome.

REPORTER: There are some people who suggest by reaching an agreement today the Government is seeking to use cooperation with Taiwan as a means of containing China. What are your views on this point?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government does not have any such aims or intentions. Our view is that the Senkaku Islands are an inherent territory of Japan and therefore there are no issues relating to them that should be shelved or delayed.

REPORTER: Yesterday the spokesperson for the World Health Organization reported that there were cases in two families where person-to-person transmission of avian influenza was suspected. The Chinese health and sanitation authorities are continuing their own investigations, but what is the view of the Government of Japan with regard to this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: With regard to the matter that you have mentioned, the Government is engaged in efforts to confirm the facts, however according to the information that we have received to date, with regard to a man who died in Shanghai, it is found that his two sons were suffering from symptoms similar to influenza, but it is not clear whether they were infected by avian influenza. Furthermore, with regard to patients in Jiangsu Province, although one patient who was in close contact with those infected had symptoms similar to influenza, it is currently being confirmed whether this was infection by avian influenza. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare is confirming the facts, but at the current time the recognition is that person-to-person infection is not occurring in any sustained or ongoing manner.


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