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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

August 3, 2016 (AM)

If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
Simultaneous interpretation services for this video are provided by a third party.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga
It appears that North Korea launched one ballistic missile in an east-northeasterly direction from its western shore in the vicinity of Unryul at around 7:53 a.m. this morning. It is estimated that the missile flew approximately 1,000km and is thought to have fallen into the Sea of Japan with Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The Government is currently engaged in analysis concerning the details of this launch. As of now, we have no confirmed reports of damage to aircraft or vessels or other such information. The Prime Minister has issued instructions to dedicate the greatest possible efforts to gathering and analyzing information, and providing information to the public in a timely and accurate manner; thoroughly ensure the safety of aircraft, vessels, etc.; and take all possible preparations, including preparations for contingencies. In addition, from approximately 11:15 a.m. this morning, a meeting of the National Security Council of Japan was held, which confirmed the three instructions issued by the Prime Minister and issued new instructions for Japan to respond resolutely to the situation, by continuing to cooperate with the international community in firmly implementing related measures against North Korea and continuing to engage in information gathering and monitoring and surveillance. This missile launch by North Korea, which is believed to have fallen in Japan’s EEZ, represents a grave threat to the security of Japan. Given that no prior warning was given before the missile fell into Japan’s EEZ, the launch is an extremely problematic and dangerous act also from the standpoint of ensuring the security of aircraft and vessels. Furthermore, as this launch also violates relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and other agreements, the Government immediately issued a strong protest against North Korea via the embassy channel in Beijing, criticizing the launch in the strongest terms possible. Based on the instructions from the Prime Minister, the Government will coordinate closely with our allies, the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK), and other relevant countries, to strongly urge North Korea to exercise self-restraint, including at the UN Security Council, and, with a sense of urgency, take all possible necessary responses to be able to respond to any situation.


REPORTER: You have just stated that the Government will take all measures necessary to respond to any situation. This launch, which landed just 250km away from Japan’s territory, would seem to suggest that North Korea has sufficient capability to launch an attack on the Japanese mainland. What is your view on this point?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The missiles launched to date have sufficient capability to reach Japan. We are therefore currently engaged in efforts together with the United States and the ROK to strengthen surveillance and implement a 24-hour, year-round monitoring and surveillance structure that is capable of responding to any situation.

REPORTER: I have a related question. You have just stated that the launch was implemented without any prior notice being given. Was the Government aware of any signs that a launch was imminent and was an interception system from Aegis-type destroyers, etc., put in place?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan is constantly engaged in cooperation with the United States and the ROK. Due to the nature of this matter I would like to refrain from going into further details, but needless to say, the Government is engaged in maximum efforts to implement monitoring and surveillance.


REPORTER: I imagine that going forward, Japan will work with the international community to step up pressure on North Korea. However, it is already the case that severe sanctions are in place and yet missile launches and other incidents continue to occur. What further measures is the Government considering that would encourage North Korea to exercise self-restraint?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As you noted, UNSC resolutions are already in effect and through international efforts, pressure will be placed on North Korea to fully comply with such resolutions. At the same time, as Japan, the United States and the ROK continue to further deepen cooperation, the Government will redouble its efforts to protect the safety and ensure the peace of mind in everyday life of the people of Japan.


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