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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 12, 2017 (AM)

Extraordinary Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

 At about 7:55 AM this morning, a ballistic missile was launched from the western coast of North Korea and is thought to have fallen into the Sea of Japan. It is believed that it did not land within Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ). In relation to this matter, the Prime Minister Abe immediately issued received a report on this matter and issued instructions on the following three points: (i) immediately compile a report , dedicate the greatest possible efforts to gathering and analyzing information, and provide information to the public in a timely and accurate manner; (ii) thoroughly ensure the safety of aircraft, vessels, etc.; and (iii) take all possible preparations, including preparations for contingencies. 

Further, the Government, along with consolidating information through the Response Office within the Prime Minister’s Office for the Situation in North Korea, which is established at the Crisis Management Center of the Prime Minister’s Office , held a meeting among director-general level officials of the relevant ministries and agencies and had a discussion about response measures. Although this is still in the process of confirmation, as of now there have been no confirmed reports of damages to nearby aircraft or vessels.

North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile today is an extremely problematic act from the standpoint of ensuring the security of aircraft and vessels. In addition, it is a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions and other decisions taken by the international community . These kinds of repeated provocative actions by North Korea are completely unacceptable, and the Japanese Government has issued a serious protest against North Korea. We will continue to exert our greatest possible efforts in gathering and analyzing information, and will make a swift announcement in the case that additional information pertinent to the public is obtained.

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