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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 5, 2016 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

1. Opening remarks

2. Q&As
REPORTER: I have a question about North Korea’s missile launch. On his return from visiting Pyongyang, Wu Dawei, Chinese Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs, commented that he was uncertain about the results, despite doing everything that could be done and saying what needed to be said. What are your thoughts about the difficult phase for efforts to encourage restraint by the international community with the nearing arrival of the notified period for the launch? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are closely monitoring activities taking place between China and North Korea regarding the North Korean problem. At the same time, Japan confirmed the need to urge restraint in a meeting by Foreign Minister Kishida with United States Ambassador to Japan Kennedy and in meetings by the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs with the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Japan and then the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Japan on February 3. Furthermore, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kihara held a meeting with the Ambassadors to Japan of nine non-permanent member countries of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on February 4 and agreed with each of them to urge North Korea to exercise restraint. At any rate, the Government intends to strongly appeal to North Korea not to conduct further provocative actions and abide by UNSC resolutions and the Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks with sincerity, while closely cooperating with the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) as well as China and other related countries.

REPORTER: Has the Japanese Government received some type of detailed explanation or other information regarding China’s various approaches to North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I just mentioned, it is true that we are also working with China regarding various efforts to promote restraint. However, I would like to refrain from commenting on the specific content.

REPORTER: I have a question related to North Korea’s missile. Practice using J-ALERT took place in Okinawa today. The system did not function properly and other confusion occurred during the missile launch in 2012. While it would be best to avoid having to use J-ALERT, please explain how previous lessons are being utilized and what steps are being taken to prevent the same mistakes to prepare for contingencies.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Government is making utmost efforts to protect the lives and peaceful existence of the Japanese people based on all possible scenarios. One example is J-ALERT. While this system has been installed, various mistakes occurred in the previous case. We assessed the situation, and the Government has thoroughly prepared for information transmission and procedures as well as sending messages and other communications in a variety of circumstances. At any rate, the Government has taken various steps to ensure the swift distribution of information.


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