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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

September 15, 2015 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: Following on from the announcement about a possible missile launch, North Korea announced that it started operating its nuclear facility in Nyeongbyeon. Can you please share your comments and discuss the Government’s responses?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: North Korea is banned from conducting any launches that utilize its ballistic missile technology. Even if it is called a “satellite,” the launch of a long-range ballistic missile is a clear violation of Security Council resolutions. The Government will work closely with the United States and the Republic of Korea in urging North Korea to refrain from provocative actions and to comply with the relevant Security Council resolutions and the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks.


REPORTER: I have a question regarding Japan-Australia relations. In Australia, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull was appointed the new Prime Minister today. Japan and Australia are currently working to deepen their ties in the security and economic domains. What kind of relations does Japan hope to build with the new Prime Minister?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, Australia is a critically important partner for Japan on both the security and economic fronts. Australia has a very strong Japanese language education program, and we perceive that Australia is a nation which has a strong affinity with Japan. In this context, Prime Minister Tony Abbott stepped down, and Prime Minister Turnbull took office. Japan would like to extend its sincere congratulations on the inauguration of the new Prime Minister. We anticipate that Japan-Australia relations will grow further in importance in an Asia-Pacific region that is undergoing particularly acute changes. Japan looks forward to working with the new administration to continue to further deepen the close ties between the two countries, and simultaneously to promote each other’s further development.  

REPORTER: I have a related question. I gather that former Prime Minister Abbott played a major role in this deepening of Japan-Australia relations, including the relationship of trust that he and Prime Minister Abe share at the personal level. How do you evaluate his achievements in this regard?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Indeed, while Prime Minister Abbott was in office, the two leaders held six summit meetings in total, including meetings on the occasions of Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Australia and Prime Minister Abbott’s visit to Japan. Through such opportunities, the strategic partnership of bilateral relations became stronger than before. In this sense, the Government of Japan would like to express its heartfelt appreciation to Prime Minister Abbott, who was deeply committed to evolving Japan-Australia relations. 


REPORTER: The United Nations General Assembly has unanimously decided to continue the intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform at the next session of the General Assembly. While Japan has striven to gain a permanent seat on the Security Council, we have seen little progress. What is your view of the latest development?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government of Japan welcomes the fact that on September 14th, New York time, the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus the decision to continue the intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform at its 70th session. The decision states that at the next session, a text that lists the proposals made by the Groups and Member States representing approximately 120 Member States during the previous session would serve as the basis of the intergovernmental negotiations. The Government of Japan highly commends this. The G4, namely Japan, India, Germany, and Brazil, together with other Member States that promote reform, have supported the pledge made by UN General Assembly President Sam Kahamba Kutesa and have been urging Member States that the achievements from the current session be carried over to the next session. Based on today’s achievement, the G4 will coordinate even more closely to steadily campaign to ensure that concrete text-based negotiations commence at the next session.


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