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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

December 1, 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]


REPORTER: The United Nations (UN) Security Council adopted a new sanctions resolution against North Korea. What is the view of the Government of Japan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government highly appreciates that on November 30, yesterday, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution concerning the nuclear test conducted by North Korea and other provocations this September. The latest resolution reinforces the Security Council resolution adopted this March and further restricts the flow of people, goods, and funds to North Korea. In particular, the resolution established a specific numerical limit for coal exports, a major source of income of North Korea. To ensure the effectiveness of this resolution, Japan will make its utmost efforts in close cooperation with other UN member states. Japan highly appreciates the adoption of this resolution.

REPORTER: I have a related question. As you also just mentioned, ensuring the effectiveness of the resolution will likely remain as a challenge. How does the Government intend to deal with this challenge?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, Japan will be proactively involved in the work of the North Korea Sanctions Committee of the UN. In this process, Japan will urge concerned countries to implement the resolution fully and strictly. The figures will also be clearly reported, and we will take appropriate measures in this regard.

REPORTER: I have a question concerning this matter. I believe Japan is considering its own sanctions. What is your intention with regard to the timing for instituting the sanctions?  

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: This is now under consideration. We are in the stage of making the final arrangements.

REPORTER: Some reports state that Japan’s sanctions will be decided tomorrow. What is the current status?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I stated moments ago, we are in the stage of making the final arrangements.

REPORTER: I have a related question. What is your current analysis regarding the possibility of further provocations by North Korea in retaliation against the latest resolution?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the latest resolution reaffirms that North Korea shall not conduct any launches that use ballistic missiles, nuclear tests, or any other provocation, and shall abandon all nuclear weapons and nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. In addition, the resolution demands North Korea to immediately fulfill these obligations. Japan will strongly urge North Korea to sincerely heed the strong warnings and condemnation repeatedly expressed by the international community and to comply faithfully and fully with the recently adopted resolution and the series of relevant resolutions, without taking provocations. Furthermore, Japan will take steady measures in cooperation with the United States and the Republic of Korea with a sense of urgency to be able to respond to any situation in North Korea.

REPORTER: A related question. China voted in favor of the resolution. It is considered that the efforts of China, which imports a considerable amount of coal from North Korea, will be key to implementing the sanctions. Does the Japanese Government intend to urge China in particular to take any actions? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I stated a short while ago, with respect to the implementation of the Security Council resolution, there is a body under the Security Council called the North Korea Sanctions Committee. The Committee will collect and review information on the actions taken by countries to implement the measures and on sanctions violations, and an expert panel of the Committee will provide advice for improving the implementation of the resolution. The Government will urge concerned countries to make these efforts and take steps to be able to fully execute the resolution.     

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) agreement to reduce its oil production. At the OPEC Meeting of the Conference on the 30th, an agreement was reached to reduce production for the first time in eight years. First of all, what is the Government’s opinion of this agreement? Secondly, in the markets, the yen has depreciated and stock prices have increased in response to this agreement. In the mid- to long-term, this may factor into price increases. Can you share with us your outlook regarding the impacts?   

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, the Government will continue to closely follow the price movements of crude oil in association with this agreement, and carefully monitor the international situation of energy supply and demand. In addition, the Government will thoroughly and comprehensively ascertain not only the impacts of the increases in crude oil prices, but also the impacts on the overall Japanese economy, including the impacts on the financial and capital markets.


REPORTER: I have a question in connection with the Cabinet selections for the next Trump administration of the United States. It has been reported that Mr. Steven Mnuchin was chosen as Treasury Secretary in charge of fiscal and exchange rate policies. What is the administration’s analysis of the impacts on Japan from the appointment of an individual with a Wall Street background? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are aware of the reports. As the President-elect has not taken office yet and the Cabinet selections require the approval of Congress, the Government deems that it should refrain from making comments.

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