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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, April 12, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

  • An overview of the Cabinet meeting

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I would like to give an overview of the Cabinet Meeting.

The meeting approved seven general measures as well as draft bills, cabinet orders and personnel decisions. With regard to statements by ministers, Minister Shindo made a statement concerning the bill on the legislative development to facilitate the promotion of reform designed to enhance regional autonomy and self-reliance, I made a statement concerning the cabinet order that stipulates the enforcement date of the Act on Special Measures for Countermeasures against Novel Influenza and Other Diseases, and the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications made a statement concerning the findings of the administrative evaluation and monitoring of the conservation and effective utilization of farmland. The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries made a statement concerning a request for cooperation regarding the Green Fund campaign. That is all I have to say.


  • Response to the situation of North Korea


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding North Korean missile testing. North Korea is making claims that suggest their missile launch preparation is now complete. Has there been any sign of a missile launch?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: North Korea has repeatedly made provocative statements and taken provocative actions. However, all we can say is that we will not be swayed by their actions and the Government is taking all possible measures to ensure that the lives and safety of citizens are protected.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question on a related topic. The G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting yesterday made a statement that strongly condemns North Korea. Firstly, could you tell us how the Japanese Government believes this will affect North Korea? Secondly, given that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will begin his international tour today, could you share with us the kind of breakthrough on North Korean issues the Japanese Government is hoping to make?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I understand that the G8 foreign ministers at the most recent G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting shared strong concerns for the North Korean situation. In light of this, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Kishida led discussions on North Korean issues, with the meeting consequently being able to make a strong statement after thorough discussions. The coming together of the G8 to make a statement urging North Korea to refrain from making further provocations was a very significant achievement. The United Nations Security Council resolutions and the Six-Party Talks have both separately come to agreements on this matter and now I believe this statement by the G8 has further contributed to increasing pressure from the international community.

As for Secretary of State John Kerry, we have a Japan-US Alliance and the Secretary of State is also visiting the Republic of Korea, and China, which has a strong influence on North Korea. Therefore, I expect that his visits will urge North Korea to exercise self-restraint and refrain from further provocations.

REPORTER: During a meeting between President Obama and the Secretary-General of the United Nations at the White House, President Obama made a strong comment stating that the U.S. will take all necessary measures to protect itself and its allies from the North Korean threat. I understand that Japan and the U.S. are allies, so could you tell us if Prime Minister Abe has any plans to have a direct phone conversation with President Obama?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There are no such plans; however the U.S. and Japan are always working in close cooperation and therefore we are truly working as one on this issue.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question from a slightly different perspective and would like to ask about the possibility of North Korea canceling the missile launch. Do you believe that there is still room for negotiations or am I right to understand that the international community has already presented all possible alternatives to North Korea, including sanctions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The international community is currently making every effort to persuade North Korea to stop taking provocative actions, such as the missile and nuclear tests.

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