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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 15, 2016 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: The Japan-Russia Vice-Ministerial Meeting took place in Tokyo today, and Prime Minister Abe plans to make an unofficial visit to Russia during the extended holidays from late April. Please explain the Government’s view of the positioning of the Vice-Ministerial Meeting and expectations for Japan-Russia relations.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The meeting’s results and content will be covered later on, though I just received a report that the Japan-Russia Vice-Ministerial Meeting has finished. Thus far in 2016, Japan and Russia held a summit telephone talk in January and two telephone talks between our Foreign Ministers. I have been told that the Japan-Russia Vice-Ministerial Meeting, which was held in the context of this ongoing high-level dialogue in a positive atmosphere, consisted of a meaningful exchange of opinions on the full range of Japan-Russia relations, in preparation for the upcoming summit meeting. At any rate, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will hold a briefing.


REPORTER: I have a question on North Korea. The Republic of Korea (ROK) government raised the level of its monitoring activities in response to signs of the North Korean military implementing a cyberattack in the near future in retaliation for the ROK’s sanction measures and as part of new provocative actions. The United States also acknowledges the threat from North Korea in cyberspace. Please explain the Japanese Government’s current understanding and any responses.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Let me start by saying that the Government would like to refrain from responding one by one to specific developments, including countermeasures by the ROK military. However, we are always closely monitoring North Korea’s military activities with serious interest in light of the recent nuclear test and ballistic missile launch by North Korea. This is the situation. Within this context, regarding responses to cyberattacks, the Government is responding with sufficient readiness because this is an important issue for national security and crisis management. I would like to state that nothing has changed because this is our normal approach.

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