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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, June 20, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The speech by President Obama of the U.S. in Berlin regarding nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation
  • The recent China-North Korea talks

REPORTER: President Barack Obama expressed his intention to further reduce strategic nuclear weapons as part of a joint effort with Russia. Could you share with us the Governments views on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, President Obama showed a renewed positive attitude toward nuclear disarmament and  non-proliferation. Japan will support these efforts. As we all know, Japan is the only nation to have suffered an atomic bombing, therefore we have high hopes that this momentum for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation will continue to get stronger among the nuclear powers. At the same time, it is very assuring that the U.S. has made it clear that it will be able to assure the safety of allies and other nations and maintain deterrence capacity even after the further reductions of nuclear arms that the U.S. has just announced. Japan will proactively take the initiative in leading international efforts on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation as we strive to work in closer cooperation with the international community.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning the China-North Korea talks. I understand that they reached a conclusion that they would like to hold dialogues involving the six nations. Firstly, could you tell us how the Government views this, and could you also tell us what you believe the process will be if the Six-Party Talks do in fact take place?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe that was announced by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I believe that it has been reported that North Korea wishes to participate in all forms of dialogue including the Six-Party Talks and hopes to peacefully resolve the nuclear issue through negotiation. Japan will keep a close eye on the situation and we believe that it is extremely important that North Korea demonstrate an earnest attitude toward denuclearization. Japan will strongly urge North Korea to faithfully and completely comply with international obligations and promises based on United Nations Security Council Resolutions and the joint statement of the Six-Party Talks, while working closely with relevant nations including the U.S., the Republic of Korea, China and Russia.

REPORTER: In relation to President Obama's intentions to reduce strategic nuclear warheads, I believe that as a nation that has suffered an atomic bombing, Japan must aim to have nuclear weapons eliminated. However, you stated earlier that Japan is hopeful that the U.S. will retain its deterrence capacity that ensures the safety of its allies. I see some contradictions. What are the Governments thoughts?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, as we know Japan is the only nation to have suffered an atomic bombing. With this understanding, I stated that there is anticipation that nuclear disarmament and  non-proliferation will gain momentum in nuclear-weapon states, including but not limited to the U.S. The U.S. has expressed its intention to reduce nuclear weapons but we have yet to see this attitude among other nuclear powers. In light of this, the fact that the U.S. has announced that it is able to ensure the safety of its allies and maintain its deterrence capacity is indeed assuring from our perspective. I believe that this conclusion is only natural.

REPORTER: Am I right to understand that when you referred to "nuclear powers" you were also thinking of North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I will not single out a specific country; however it is only natural for Japan to expect all nuclear powers to gather momentum for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.


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