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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

January 28, 2016 (AM)

Press Conference by the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: Some media sources are reporting that North Korea is preparing for a long-range ballistic missile launch. What are the facts related to this news?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HAGIUDA: I am also aware of the media coverage. While the Government is constantly gathering and analyzing information regarding developments related to North Korea’s missile activities as a very important matter, I would like to refrain from comments on the content of specific information because of the nature of this issue. The Government intends to continue gathering information and monitoring conditions with appropriate vigilance, while working closely with the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), and others, aimed at encouraging North Korea to refrain from provocative actions and abide by related Security Council resolutions and the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. The Government is also ready to deal with every circumstance.


REPORTER: I have a question about relations between Japan and the ROK. While today marks the passage of one month since the agreement between Japan and the ROK regarding the comfort women issue, there is still no outlook for moving the statue of the young girl. What is the Government’s view of efforts by the ROK side during this period?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HAGIUDA: Issues existed between both countries for a long time, and a new era between Japan and the ROK started with the agreement reached between the two leaders at the end of last year. Given this context, the Government hopes that efforts by the ROK Government will resolve problems on the ROK side and it acknowledges that it must take responsibility in providing a suitable explanation that makes sense to the Japanese people for the situation in Japan. Rather than being concerned about whether one month is long or short, we intend to wait for the ROK Government to make efforts domestically that resonate with the ROK people, without thinking in terms of a specific timeline, because of the significance of having reached an agreement.

REPORTER: There have been some media reports suggesting that Japan might participate in a nuclear disarmament working group at the UN. Please explain the related facts.

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HAGIUDA: The Government has not made any decision at this point regarding Japan’s participation in the nuclear disarmament working group at the UN. An organizational meeting that mainly addresses procedural items, including the schedule for an actual meeting of the related working group, is slated to occur in Geneva on January 28 local time, and Japan plans to have our local Delegation on Disarmament participate in the organizational meeting. I think the media story might be mixing this up with the above-mentioned point.

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