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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 13, 2017 (PM)

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Simultaneous interpretation services for this video are provided by a third party.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question related to North Korea’s missile issue. In the morning press conference, you stated that you expected further sanctions against North Korea to be discussed in the United Nations (UN) Security Council. Does the Japanese Government intend to request additional stricter sanctions? Please share your view.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, Japan will ensure the effectiveness of relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and steadily implement our own sanctions. Beyond that, at the Security Council, Japan will work to further strengthen cooperation among the relevant countries such as the United States and the Republic of Korea, and the international community, and engage in discussions about the response going forward. Additionally, in regard to Japan’s own sanctions, Japan will constantly consider our response from the standpoint of what is most effective for the comprehensive resolution of the outstanding issues of concern, based on an examination of  North Korea’s reaction to the succession of Security Council resolutions and Japan’s own measures.

REPORTER: I would like to confirm one point. You just referred to Japan’s own sanctions. As for the direction of the Japanese Government’s own sanctions, will the Japanese Government be moving in the direction of strengthening the sanctions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Naturally we will steadily implement the existing sanctions, and at the same time, fully deal with the situation based on what has been most effective.

REPORTER: I would like to confirm one more point. Under these severe circumstances, how does the Government intend to address the abduction issue? Is it your wish to promptly resume dialogue with the North Korean side? Please share your view regarding the matter.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Abduction is the top priority of the Abe administration. The Government will work to ensure the effectiveness of the Security Council resolutions and steadily implement Japan’s own measures in order to comprehensively resolve the outstanding issues of concern, including the abductions, nuclear and missile issues. In regard to the abduction issue, there is absolutely no change in the Government’s intention to make maximum efforts to return all abductees to Japan, while urging North Korea to fulfill the Stockholm agreement under the principles of “dialogue and pressure” and “action for action.”


REPORTER: I would like to return to the topic of North Korea. The Sapporo Asian Winter Games will open on the 19th, and North Korean athletes have been entered. Is there a possibility that Japan will decide not to permit the North Korean athletes to enter Japan, on the basis of the missile launch North Korea conducted yesterday?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, in the international sports world, there is a widespread, shared understanding that discrimination based on nationality and other characteristics is prohibited. The Constitution of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) also stipulates that no competitor shall, on the ground of color, disability, religion or politics, be subjected to any vexation. Taking this into consideration, it was found that there are exceptional special circumstances, and therefore, the Japanese Embassy in Beijing was expected to issue travel certificates for North Korean athletes and others to enter Japan. I do not expect this to change.

REPORTER: I would like to confirm. Can I understand that to mean they will be allowed to participate in the Games?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As part of Japan’s own measures against North Korea, in principle the entry into Japan of individuals with North Korean citizenship is not permitted. While that is the general rule in Japan, as I have just stated, we will respond to the matter in light of the shared understanding in the international sports world and the Constitution of the OCA. In the past there were instances when North Korean athletes were permitted to enter Japan on the grounds that special circumstances apply.

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